Washington is ESPN’s top-rated World Cup market thus far


Public Bar in Tenleytown. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)

Washington is dominating the national English-language television ratings for this World Cup.

That trend continued on Monday, when the Ghana-USA broadcast on ESPN earned an 11.8 overnight rating in the Washington market, the highest number in the country by quite a bit. New York (10.2), Hartford/New Haven (10.1), Boston (10.0) Columbus (8.9) and Baltimore (8.7) rounded out the top six.

In both Washington and Baltimore, that was the highest overnight rating ever for a World Cup group-round match, on any network.

Those ratings do not include the Spanish-language broadcasts.

Through 14 matches, D.C. leads the way for average World Cup ratings on the ESPN networks. Here’s the top 10 list:

1) Washington (5.0)
2) San Francisco (4.4)
3) New York (4.1)
4) Boston (3.8)
5) Orlando (3.7)
6) Los Angeles (3.7)
7) Miami (3.7)
8) Hartford (3.7)
9) Atlanta (3.6)
10) Seattle, West Palm Beach, San Diego (3.4, tied)

And this has been a week-long trend. D.C. had ESPN’s highest local rating for the Brazil-Croatia opener (5.1). It had the highest rating for Chile-Australia (3.8). It had the highest rating for Spain-Netherlands (4.7). D.C. was even tied for third for the Mexico-Cameroon match.

Washington had just the fifth-highest English-language rating in the country for the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, behind San Francisco, San Diego, New York and Miami. San Diego was the top local market for English-language broadcasts during the 2006 World Cup. D.C. did not place in the top five that year.

By way of comparison with the 11.8 rating in D.C. on Monday, the best-rated Caps game in the Ovechkin era earned an 8.63 rating. The best-rated Wizards playoff game this season earned an 8.51 rating. Only one Nats game has ever achieved a rating above 10.0.

Overall, ESPN’s Ghana vs. USA telecast averaged a 7.0 overnight rating, the highest overnight rating for a men’s World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, according to Nielsen.

Update:

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg · June 17, 2014

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