Bloomberg News

Germany Win Gives ESPN 3rd-Highest U.S. World Cup Ratings

July 14, 2014

Watching the World Cup Final

People watch the World Cup final match at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., on July 13, 2014. Photographer: Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina drew the third-highest U.S. television ratings for a World Cup match on ESPN or ABC.

The World Cup final, clinched by Mario Goetze’s goal in the second period of extra time, was seen in 9.7 percent of U.S. homes in the 56 biggest metered television markets, ESPN said today in a statement, citing Nielsen Media Research. Full national ratings from the 115.6 million U.S. TV households are due later.

Germany’s victory was the most-watched game of the event, and highest on Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US)’s ESPN or ABC since the 1994 tournament, hosted by the U.S. That event’s final between Italy and Brazil drew a 12.8 overnight rating; the U.S. team’s Round of 16 loss to Brazil the same year drew a 10.4.

It was a 13 percent increase over the 2010 final, played between the Netherlands and Spain in South Africa. That game, a 1-0 extra time win for Spain, drew an 8.6 overnight rating.

The entire 64-game tournament averaged a 3.1 rating on the Disney networks, a 29 percent increase over the 2010 tournament. The tournament’s highest-rated U.S. markets were Washington, D.C. (4.9), New York (4.6), San Francisco (4.4) and Los Angeles (4.0).

ESPN and ABC have owned the English-language rights to the World Cup since 1994. Rights to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were purchased by 21st Century Fox Inc.’s Fox for $450 million to $500 million, according to Sports Business Daily.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at Sara Marley

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