The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

U.S.-Portugal most watched soccer match in American history

(Christopher Lee/Getty)

A further update from ESPN concerning the television ratings for Sunday night’s U.S.-Portugal broadcast.

* That group-stage game was the most-viewed soccer match ever broadcast in the United States, averaging 18.22 million viewers on ESPN and 6.5 million viewers on Univision.

* The ESPN audience beat the audience for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final on ABC, which attracted 17.975 million viewers. That 1999 women’s game still had a higher rating, however.

* The Portugal match is the most-viewed non-American-football program in ESPN history.

 ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average about 4.2 million viewers and a 2.6 household rating through the first 32 matches of the World Cup, culminating with the Sunday night U.S. game. That rating is up 44 percent from the 2010 figure of 1.8, and up 86 percent from the 2006 figure of 1.4.

* The rating for Saturday’s Germany-Ghana match tied ESPN’s highest-rated World Cup match not involving an American team. That game got a 3.4 rating, equal to the 2006 rating for the Italy-Germany semifinal. (This does not include ABC broadcasts of World Cup finals.)

* Eighteen markets set overnight records for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, including Baltimore. D.C. did not make that list. But as previously noted, Washington was ESPN’s top local market, according to overnights.