The Washington Post

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.


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



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Next Story
Dan Steinberg · June 17, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.