Some 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 largest soccer audience ever for the cable network.
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,000 to 2,025,000) and viewership rose 49% to 2.66 million from 1.79 million.
ESPN's June 23 telecast toppled the network's futbol 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.
San Diego made it a hat trick on the local level as it was once again the top DMA for the men's national team's game, delivering an 8.9 rating despite the kickoff at 7 a.m. locally. San Diego also set the Nielsen pace for the June 12 U.S.-England game on ABC (11.5) and the U.S./Slovenia match on ESPN (8.5).
Rounding out the top 10 on June 23: Baltimore (6.7), San Francisco (6.1), Washington, D.C. (5.4), Sacramento (5.4), Houston (5.4), Las Vegas (5.4), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (5.3), New York (5.3) and West Palm Beach (5.3).
The U.S.-Algeria match marked a milestone for online video on broadband service ESPN3.com, logging the largest U.S. audience ever for a sports event on the Web, according to ESPN officials. The game garnered nearly 1.1 million unique viewers with an average viewing time of 43 minutes. The match also averaged 328,000 viewers per minute in its live coverage. When combined with the concurrent England vs. Slovenia match, ESPN3.com reached its peak point of viewing at around 11:30 a.m., when 513,000 viewers were watching each minute.
For the four World Cup matches on June 23, ESPN3.com captured 1.4 million viewers who watched for 84 million total minutes.
Through 14 days of World Cup coverage, 5 million viewers have watched the World Cup on ESPN3.com, consuming more than 9.2 million total hours.
ESPNsoccernet.com set an all-time record on June 23 with more visits than any day in its history, as ESPN.com World Cup content generated 8.8 million visits and 33.3 million page views.
To date, the site registered 68.7 million visits and 239.3 million page views of World Cup coverage.