World Cup Ratings Roundup: ESPN, Univision, and CBC Viewership Continues to Skyrocket

ESPN’s telecast of the United States’ 2-1 loss to Belgium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday averaged 16,491,000 viewers and a 9.8 US HH rating, making it the second most-viewed men’s soccer match in the United States ever, across all networks (behind the 18,220,000 viewers and 9.6 US HH rating ESPN earned for USA vs. Portugal on June 22). At its highest point, ESPN’s telecast averaged 19,543,000 viewers and an 11.5 US HH rating from 5:30 to 6 p.m. ESPN’s telecast is the third most-viewed soccer match – men’s or women’s – in the United States behind ESPN’s record-setting USA vs. Portugal telecast and the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC (17,975,000 viewers).

New York led all markets for ESPN’s USA vs. Belgium telecast with a 15.0 rating, followed by Hartford/New Haven (13.2) and Washington, D.C., (12.8). Twenty markets recorded their highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2 ever, including six that were among the top seven largest for the telecast (New York, Hartford/New Haven, Richmond, Boston, West Palm Beach and Baltimore). Overall, Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 56 games with a 4.5 average rating, followed by New York (4.2), San Francisco (3.9) and Los Angeles (3.6).

The 2014 event has now delivered ESPN’s six largest audiences for men’s World Cup matches ever. Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to reach more than 99,000,000 people through the first 52 matches.

ESPN continues to generate its largest audiences ever for a World Cup, averaging 4,080,000 viewers and a 2.5 US HH rating for the 56 telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combined. The 2014 coverage marks increases of 44 percent and 122 percent (vs. 2,836,000 in 2010 and 1,838,000 in 2006), and 39 percent and 92 percent (vs. 1.8 in 2010 and 1.3 in 2006), respectively. In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have posted significant audience increases in every key people and male demographic, highlighted by double-digit growth in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 categories…

… Univision’s presentation of the Mexico vs. Netherlands match delivered the most-viewed telecast in U.S. Spanish-language television history. The match averaged 10.4 million Total Viewers and 5.8 million Adults 18-49. The match aired on the Univision Network, which was simulcast on Univision Deportes Network (UDN), on Sunday, June 29, 2014. The match was the most-viewed telecast in U.S. Spanish-language television history among Total Viewers, besting the previous high (the 12/3/07 telecast of ‘Destilando Amor’) by +2%. Univision’s coverage of the Mexico vs. Netherlands match out-delivered ESPN’s coverage of the same match by +57% among Total Viewers and +68% among Adults 18-49. ESPN averaged 6.6 million Total Viewers and 3.5 million Adults 18-49. This was the most-viewed World Cup match ever on Univision with +10% more Total Viewers and +4% more Adults 18-49 than the previous high, the 6/27/10 World Cup match between Mexico-Argentina (9.4 million Total Viewers and 5.6 million Adults 18-49). The match reached 16.2 million Total Viewers who tuned into all or part of the broadcast.

Univision Deportes’ presentation of the World Cup Round of 16 averaged 4.4 million Total Viewers and 2.3 million Adults 18-49, outdelivering its 2010 World Cup Round of 16 coverage by 22% among Total Viewers, and 10% among Adults 18-49. The USA vs. Belgium match delivered 5.1 million Total Viewers and 2.4 million Adults 18-49. Univision Deportes’ coverage of the 2014 World Cup has reached 70.9 million Total Viewers through the Round of 16. Univision Deportes coverage of the 2014 World Cup is pacing ahead of its 2010 World Cup coverage by +39% among Total Viewers and +27% among Adults 18-49 through 56 matches…

North of the border, the World Cup is also breaking ratings records as CBC reports 29.5 million Canadians tuning in on CBC/SRC or one of its partners, on TV or online since June 12, 2014. This surpasses the cumulative reach for CBC’s coverage of the entire 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament. To date, 29.5 million Canadians have tuned into some aspect of CBC/Radio-Canada or its partners’ 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ coverage, either online or on TV since June 12, 2014. About 5.5 million of these viewers have tuned in to consume the content on a digital platform. Five out of eight games in Round of 16 posted 2+ average audiences of more than two million viewers, compared to only one out of eight in 2010. This was led by the USA vs. Belgium match on July 1, 2014 with a 2+ audience of 2.7 million. The Round of 16 games averaged a 2+ audience of 2.1 million, 42% higher than the Round of 16 live games averages in 2010, with 1.475 million. 95% of all New Canadians across the country have tuned-in to some part of CBC / Radio-Canada, or one of its broadcast partners, online or TV coverage of FIFA World Cup™.

…On the streaming side of things, WatchESPN delivered a platform record average minute audience of 1,107,000 viewers, providing a seven percent lift to ESPN’s television viewership (previous record was set for USA vs. Germany on June 26). WatchESPN also averaged 3,500,000 unique viewers and 190,200,000 minutes viewed during the match, both records for the platform. WatchESPN peaked at 1,500,000 concurrent users. ESPN’s television, digital and audio coverage generated a combined average minute audience of nearly 18 million people.

WatchESPN is averaging 829,000 unique viewers and 36.9 million minutes per game through the end of the round of 16, for increases of 173 percent and 176 percent, respectively…

…In addition, Univision Digital had its all-time highest day for live video with over 5.6 million total streams for the Switzerland vs. Argentina and USA vs. Belgium matches. Univision Digital recorded 10.2 million visits on July 1, ranking as the second highest trafficked day in Univision Digital history, after June 23 with 10.3 million visits. The USA vs. Belgium match had a record breaking 1.8 million unique viewers, becoming Univision Digital’s largest live stream event ever. The match received 4% more viewers than the United States vs. Germany match on June 26, Univision Digital’s second largest event. The USA vs. Belgium match was streamed for 91 million minutes and delivered 563K viewers during an average minute, outperforming Brazil vs. Mexico’s 83 million minutes streamed and 541K viewers during an average minute on June 17. The Switzerland vs. Argentina match on July 1 was watched by 1.3 million unique viewers, ranking among Univision Digital’s top five largest live streams…

…Canadians have streamed over 8 million hours of CBC’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil coverage digitally on either the website or on the app.