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World Cup final shatters record for U.S. TV audience
by Paul Kennedy, July 14th, 2014 8PM

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TAGS:  soccer business, television, world cup 2014

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[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Sunday's World Cup final was the most-watched soccer game ever on U.S. television as 17.3 million viewers watched the Germany-Argentina overtime match on ABC and another 9.2 million viewers tuned in on Univision for a combined audience of 26.5 million viewers, breaking the record of 24.7 million viewers for the USA-Portugal game earlier in the tournament.

The 26.5 million viewers for the 2014 final were up from 24.3 million four years ago for the Spain-Netherlands World Cup final, which also went to overtime.

In addition, 756,000 viewers watched the Germany-Argentina game via streaming on WatchESPN and Univision's online feed. The TV figures do not include fans who watched at viewing parties or establishments outside their homes.

The Germany-Argentina was also the most-viewed final on both networks, though the records for the most-watched soccer match for both networks were set earlier in the tournament.

ESPN's broadcast of the USA-Portugal game in Manaus was the most-watched soccer ever on American television with 18,220,000 viewers. The Mexico-Netherlands round-of-16 game on Univision delivered the most-viewed telecast in U.S. Spanish-language television history with with an average of 10.4 million viewers.

The 2014 World Cup ranks as the most-viewed tournament ever on English-language TV as ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combined to average 4,557,000 viewers, an increase of 39 percent from 2010 and 96 percent from 2006. Univision outdelivered its 2010 World Cup coverage by 34 percent among total viewers.

Elsewhere ...

Germany: The Germany-Argentina match set a record for the largest audience in German TV history with 34.65 million viewers tuning into ARD for the final. The previous record: 32.57 million for Brazil-Germany on Tuesday. The audience share on Sunday was 86.3, meaning 86.3 of all Germans watching television were watching the final.

United Kingdom: A combined average of 18.5 million viewers -- 14.9 million on BBC1 and 3.6 million on ITV -- watched in the United Kingdom.

France: The Germany-Argentina final was watched by an average of 13.6 million viewers on France's TFI, the most for any game not involving France, which drew the top five most-watched games of the tournament on French television.

Canada: An average of 4.93 million watched the final on the CBC, making it the most-watched final ever in Canada, edging the 2010 mark. It was higher than the 2013 Grey Cup (Canadian football final), the NHL's Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and every Stanley Cup playoff game. The average television audience jumped 39 percent to 1.7 million.


11 comments
  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 8:59 a.m.
    So, Paul,lots of volks must have liked it..

  1. Gary Wien
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 9:09 a.m.
    a lot of folks don't blindly hate Germany the way that Paul does...

  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 10:17 a.m.
    camps my kid was at this summer, DFB widely admired & all the kids' 2nd fav......except for mine, of course, and a few kids part Deutsch, like us......

  1. cisco martinez
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 10:27 a.m.
    I argue with many baseball and Football fans daily regarding the popularity of soccer. Throw out these statistics to your friends, average football audience to watch a Super Bowl 300 million, average audience for World Cup Final over 1 Billion, highest and most paid athletes in the top 15 according to Forbes; soccer players and not one baseball player, Average attendance for baseball game 30-40k, average attendance just in German Bundesliga 50k.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 10:50 a.m.
    Robert and Gary, this is a different Paul. Check the last name.

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 11 a.m.
    Well played, Gus. Beat me to it!

  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 11:19 a.m.
    duh! presuming Gardner reads these, why do you think i used first name? Sorry if you thought I was talking about you, Mr. Kennedy, 1st chance today to gripe about the old fogy(wait-that describes me, too!)

  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 12:08 p.m.
    It is all coming along. Did you hear on Sunday night after the WC final Seattle and POrtland drew 64,000 at the same stadium the Seahawks play at. The MLS is key to the USMNT as we need a league that pays enough to draw kids away from Football into soccer. We can continue to chase duel passport holders where possible but Deandre Yedlin is the type of player that will mean long term success to the USMNT. Grew up in seattle played college at Akron and now a homegrown talent.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 12:09 p.m.
    I doubt PG reads the comments on his own articles, let alone the comments on other people's articles.

  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 1:56 p.m.
    none of them comment back, it took the world cup to put some life into these blogs.......so do we call the author here PK?

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: July 15, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.
    It's true that they don't respond to comments directly but I think most of them read the comments section. Sometime I read an editorial inspired by some comments.


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