[SOCCER ON THE AIR]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.
"ESPN doubled U.S. viewership since the 2006 World Cup and we set industry records for live event streams," said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. "We're proud of our role in helping to grow interest in the global game and our commitment to the sport remains strong."
The next two World Cups will air on Fox.
ESPN/ESPN2/ABC World Cup Audiences
YEAR RATING AVG. VIEWERS
2014 2.8 | 4,557,000
2010 2.1 | 3,273,000
2006 1.6 | 2,321,000
2002 0.7 | 1,043,000
1998 0.9 | 1,222,000
1994 2.0 | 2,801,000
Sunday’s World Cup final between Germany and Argentina was the most-watched World Cup final ever with an average of 17,324,000 viewers.
Sunday's final, which drew a 9.1 rating, also ranks as the third most-viewed soccer game in the United States behind ESPN’s coverage of this year’s USA-Portugal match (18,220,000 viewers) and the 1999 USA-China Women's World Cup final on ABC (17,975,000 viewers).
At its highest point, the ABC telecast averaged 20,781,000 viewers and an 11.0 rating from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
In addition to ABC’s telecast, the final on WatchESPN generated an an average minute audience of 657,000 viewers for the streaming broadcast.
Top 10 Markets (Final on ABC):
Washington, D.C. (15.4)
San Diego (13.4)
Los Angeles (13.0)
San Francisco (13.0)
New York (12.5)
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (11.5)
West Palm Beach (10.8)
Las Vegas (10.7)