2010 World Cup Tally: Disney, Univision Net Best-Ever Tourney Audiences


ESPN and Univision, bolstered by Spain's 1-0 win over The Netherlands in the final -- the most-watched soccer match ever in the U.S. -- scored their biggest World Cup audiences ever with the 2010 tourney from South Africa.
Together, ABC, with 15.5 million and Univision, with 8.8 million, the networks scored with 24.3 million viewers from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the extra-time match on July 11. That total surpassed the 19.4 million the networks combined on June 26 during the U.S.'s elimination by Ghana in a round-of-16 encounter.
Univision's presentation of Spain-Holland ranks as the third-largest Spanish-language telecast in U.S. history behind the 9.41 million for the round-of-16 game between Mexico-Argentina on June 27 and the finale of novella Destilando Amor (Essence of Love), which drew 9.02 million on Dec. 3, 2007.
As part of its 8.8 million average, Univision's coverage of the final garnered 5.4 million persons 18 to 49, 3.3 million persons 18 to 34 and almost 4 million persons 12 to 34, making it the most-watched WC championship game in the network's history. Spain-Holland outperformed the 2006 title tilt -- Italy's win over France on penalty kicks -- by 49%, 45%, 53%, and 52% in the aforementioned groups, respectively.
All told, Univision netted its highest audience levels ever for any World Cup averaging 2.4 million total viewers, 1.4 million persons 18 to 49, 760,983 people 18 to 34 and 932,920 persons to 12 to 34, which represented gains of 15%, 6%, 9%, and 7%, respectively, over the 64-game averages for the 2006 event from Germany.
ABC's telecast of Spain-Netherlands posted an 8.1 household rating, 9.39 million households and 15.5 million watchers, the second-best soccer marks in this country among households and viewers, behind only the 11.3 million and 17.9 million for the 1999 FIFA Women's WC final, when the U.S. topped China on penalties from the Rose Bowl.
The 8.1 national rating -- up 6% from the 2006 final -- for the July 11 telecast ranks as the fourth highest-rated men's World Cup game on record, behind the 9.5 for the 1994 final between Italy and Brazil Final, the 1994 the 9.3 for the U.S.-Brazil round-of-16 match (9.3) (that tourney was held in the States), and the 8.5 for the 2010 U.S.-Ghana match. The July 11 title game also trails the 1999 Women's World Cup Final, which delivered an 11.4 rating.
Overall, the 2010 World tourney ranks as the most-viewed World Cup ever on English-language TV in this country. Over 64 matches, The Walt Disney Co.-owned networks -- ESPN, ESPN2, ABC -- averaged a 2.1 U.S national rating, 2.29 million households and 3.26 million viewers. Those performances grew 31% (from a 1.6), 32% (1.74 million) and 41% (2.32 million) from the tourney in Germany four years ago.
For its part, ESPN Digital Media, comprising ESPN.com, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile Web, ESPN Mobile Apps and ESPN Mobile TV, garnered nearly 4.9 billion minutes of usage of WC content, according to officials at the sports programmer. An average of more than 110,000 fans per minute used ESPN Digital Media to tourney info during the 31 days of the tournament.
Matches on broadband service ESPN3.com tallied some 7.4 million unique visitors, generating 942 million minutes of viewing or more than two hours per each unique. The Spain-Germany semifinal was viewed by 355,000 people per minute during the live match, making it ESPN3.com's largest average audience ever.
WC content on ESPN.com, including ESPNsoccernet.com and ESPNdeportes/copa-mundial, delivered 128 million visits and 431 million page views from June 11 through July 11. The site's front page, which prominently featured tournament news, video and scores, saw 304 million visits and 663 million page views.
ESPN's mobile TV offering reached 1 million unique viewers during the event, registering 93 million total minutes of viewing, setting records on MobiTV and FLO TV.
Additionally, ESPN's mobile offerings -- ESPN mobile Web, ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup App and ESPN ScoreCenter App -- counted 98 million visits and 520 million page views to tourney content. Video on the mobile Web and app were accessed for 6.2 million video views of highlights, news and analysis. The app itself was downloaded more than 2.5 million times and averaged one million users accessing it per day during the tournament.
Meantime, Univision Interactive Media's coverage of the World Cup drove record-breaking results, as its online and mobile offerings generated 34.7 million visits.
Fans streamed over 10 million total hours of live video on UnivisionFutbol.com. On average, users spent nearly 90 minutes daily viewings session across more than 265,000 unique media players.
On the mobile side, the Univision Fútbol App notched over 450,000 downloads following its launch.