The World Cup final drew 17.3 million viewers on ABC and 9.2 million on Univision Deportes nationwide. (Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Last Sunday’s World Cup final capped off a record-breaking tournament for TV viewership in the United States.

Just like it did for the rest of the competition, Washington, D.C., led the way.
The match between Germany and Argentina drew 17.3 million viewers on ABC and 9.2 million on Univision Deportes nationwide. The combined U.S. viewership of 26.5 million was the most ever for a soccer game.

The previous record stood for only three weeks. The final bested the USA-Portugal group-stage match on June 22, which drew 24.7 million viewers.

Overall, the 2014 tournament was easily the most-watched World Cup ever in the United States.

On ESPN/ESPN2/ABC, the 64 World Cup matches averaged more than 4.5 million viewers, or a 2.8 rating. The trio of networks achieved their previous high with the 2010 World Cup, when they averaged 3.3 million viewers per match, or a 2.1 rating.

Spanish-language telecasts were a similar story. The 2014 World Cup on Univision Deportes reached nearly 81 million total viewers, up 34 percent from its coverage in 2010.

Locally, D.C. enhanced its reputation as a soccer hotbed by routinely posting the best ratings out of any U.S. market. The World Cup final was no exception, as D.C. turned in a 15.4 rating.

Through all 64 matches of the World Cup, Washington was the top-rated market in the country, with an average 4.9 rating. It was followed by New York (4.6), San Francisco (4.4), Los Angeles (4.0) and San Diego (4.0).

D.C. United preview vs. Chivas USA

Last season, a matchup between D.C. United and Chivas USA would have been a good opportunity to make alternative plans. In Major League Soccer, though, things can change quickly, and Sunday’s match at RFK Stadium (8 p.m., CSN) is a perfect example. In 2013, DCU and Chivas USA were the two worst teams in the league. In 2014, D.C. United is second in the Eastern Conference after posting three straight road wins. Chivas USA is just outside of a playoff spot in the West, but has won four straight games to find itself right back in contention.

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