Mexico-Argentina Fills Univision’s Cup

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It may have been a disheartening ending to the side’s 2006 World Cup in Germany, but Mexico’s 2-1 overtime loss to Argentina June 24 proved to be the largest sports telecast ever among Hispanic viewers.

Univision’s coverage of the match, which kicked off at 2:55 p.m. (EST) Saturday, attracted 6.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen Television Index data. That total for the round-of-16 contest -- which included some 4.3 million adult 18-49 watchers -- easily surpassed the previous record-holder: the 5.4 million who watched Mexico’s opening Group D match June 11, which commenced at 11:30 a.m.

Despite its weekend-afternoon scheduling, Univision officials noted that the Mexico-Argentina match ranked as the fifth-most-watched telecast in Spanish-language-television history.

For 50 2006 World Cup matches through June 24, Univision averaged 1.44 million households and 2.17 million viewers, up 133% and 155%, respectively from the same span in 2002, when the World Cup was held in Korea and Japan and most of the matches aired live in overnight periods in the U.S. due to the time-zone differential from the Pacific Rim.

Compared with the 1998 World Cup in France -- when the time zone differential to the East Coast in the United States was the same six hours as it is Germany -- the 2006 World Cup was ahead 86% in households and 91% in viewers, according to Univision officials.

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