Commentary

Hexagonal finale is top-rated Mexico game of year

By Paul Kennedy

Telemundo's broadcast of Tuesday's Hexagonal finale between Costa Rica and Mexico that almost resulted in El Tri's elimination from the World Cup averaged 4.64 million total viewers and 2.81 million adults 18-49, outperforming Fox’s entire primetime lineup, as well as ABC’s programming from 9-11 p.m. ET among adults 18-49.

The "Rumbo al Mundial” broadcast ranked as the highest-rated Mexico game of the year among total viewers on any network, reaching a cumulative audience of 8 million total viewers and 4.7 million adults 18-49.

Locally, the match was No. 1 regardless of language among total viewers in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Dallas.

Friday night's Mexico game against Panama -- a 2-1 win that ended up saving El Tri for now -- drew similar numbers.

The broadcast reached 7.3 million viewers who tuned in to watch all or part of the telecast on UniMas. It averaged 4.6 million viewers and 2.73 million adults 18-49.

USA-JAMAICA. The final ESPN broadcast of the USA's Hexagonal campaign -- Friday's USA-Jamaica game in Kansas City -- averaged 917,000 viewers, ranking fifth of the nine U.S. World Cup 2014 qualifying broadcasts on the ESPN networks.

ESPN U.S. 2014 World Cup Qualifying Viewers:
AVERAGE GAME (NETWORK)
2,385,000 Mexico-USA (ESPN, March 2013)
2,243,000 USA-Mexico (ESPN, Sept. 2013)
1,436,000 USA-Panama (ESPN, June 2013)
1,127,000 USA-Honduras (ESPN, June 2013)
917,000 USA-Jamaica (ESPN, Oct. 2013)
902,000 USA-Jamaica (ESPN, Sept. 2012)
899,000 USA-Antigua & Barbuda (ESPN, June 2012)
857,000 USA-Costa Rica (ESPN, March 2013)
730,000 USA-Guatemala (ESPN2, Oct. 2012)

MLB PLAYOFF COMPARISON. The combined average audiences for USA-Jamaica on ESPN and Mexico-Panama on UniMas were equal to the 5.5 million viewers for Friday's NLCS opener between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on TBS. (Household ratings were 31.1 in St. Louis and 12.4 in Los Angeles, reflecting just how much of a baseball town St. Louis.)

Tuesday's NLCS game between the Cardinals and Dodgers that started an hour and a half before the final Hexagonal matches averaged 5.8 million total viewers on TBS.

Through four games, the NLCS on TBS has averaged 4.9 million viewers. The Tigers-Red Sox ALCS series has averaged 7.2 million viewers.
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