About 6.2 million viewers on ESPN saw Landon Donovan send
the U.S. into the round of 16 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the cable network’s largest
soccer audience ever.
ESPN averaged a 4.6 cable rating (4.0 on a national basis), 4.58 million households and
6.16 million in the 10 a.m. match window on June 23, according to Nielsen data. Donovan’s
shot in added time enabled the Americans to best Algeria 1-0 and capture Group C. Sam’s
Army will face Ghana on June 26 at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.
Covering 40 matches on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 through June 23, the 2010 World Cup averaged
a 1.8 U.S. rating for the two-hour match windows, 40% above the 1.3 average from the
2006 tourney. Household impressions grew 46%, to 2.03 million from 1.39 million, and viewership
rose 49%, to 2.66 million from 1.79 million.
ESPN’s June 23 telecast toppled the network’s fútbol household mark of 3.91 million,
set with the U.S.-Slovenia match on June 18. From an audience perspective, U.S.-Algeria
eclipsed the U.S.-Germany World Cup quarterfinal match on June 21, 2002, which netted a
4.4 rating and 5.34 million viewers.