The USA-Ghana game on the final day of Group E play at the World Cup was ESPN's fifth highest-rated and second most-viewed soccer game ever: 3.2 rating (2,902,000 homes).
The 3.2 rating was not far off last Thursday's average prime-time ratings for the four major networks: CBS (6.8), ABC (4.1), Fox (4.1) and NBC (3.4). The USA-Ghana game was the highest-rated program of the day in households and all key male demos on ad-supported cable.
The USA-Germany quarterfinal match at the 2002 World Cup was viewed in 3,772,000 homes, based on a 4.4 rating, an ESPN soccer record.
Through eight games, ESPN averaged a 1.5 rating (1,370,000 homes), up 150% and 154%, respectively, compared to the same point of the 2002 World Cup (11 games, 0.6 and 540,000).
The 4.4 (4,824,000 households) for USA-Italy on ABC was the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup broadcast on the network since the 1998 final. ESPN2’s highest rating has been a 2.4 for the USA-Czech Republic game on June 12. It was highest-rated soccer telecast ever on ESPN2, and the network’s highest-rated telecast of the year to date.