The U.S. Men’s National Team’s highly anticipated opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against England on ABC was the most viewed World Cup first round match and fifth most-viewed World Cup match ever. The match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, was the most watched U.S. MNT match since 1994.
The two-hour match window averaged a 7.3 household rating (8,391,000 households and 12,956,000 viewers) based on fast nationals. The three-hour telecast, which included one hour of pre-match coverage, delivered a 6.1 household rating (7,034,000 households, and 10,763,000 viewers). In addition, 3.8 million watched the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision.
The overall three-hour telecast ranks fifth all-time behind three World Cup finals, including the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final, and the USA’s Round of 16 match against Brazil in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, all of which were televised on ABC.
Top 5 Most-Viewed FIFA World Cup Telecasts (1994-present):
U.S.-China, Women’s WC Final (ABC, 7/10/99) – 18.0 million viewers (11.4 rating)
Brazil-Italy, WC Final (ABC, 7/17/94) – 14.5 (9.5 rating)
Brazil-U.S., Rd of 16 (ABC, 7/4/94) – 13.7 (9.3 rating)
Italy-France, WC Final (ABC, 7/9/06) – 12.0 (7.0 rating)
U.S.-England, First Rd (ABC, 6/12/10) – 10.8 (6.1 rating) *
* includes pre-match coverage
Top 5 Metered Markets (U.S.-England):
San Diego - 11.5 rating
San Francisco - 11.2
Las Vegas - 11.0
Cincinnati - 10.8
Salt Lake City - 10.2
Note: The U.S.-England match ranks as the highest-rated World Cup game on the ESPN networks for 19 of the 56 metered markets, including: Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Greenville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Norfolk, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Tulsa.