From a Nielsen Media Research perspective, Univision’s coverage of Sunday’s FIFA World Cup match between Mexico and Iran was like another big football game.
The June 11 match, which kicked off at 11:55 a.m. (EST), drew some 5.4 million viewers two-plus, according to Nielsen Television Index Fast National Ratings. That made Mexico’s 3-1 victory a Super Bowl of sorts from a viewing perspective, as the match was the most-watched sporting event in Spanish-language television history, beating even previous World Cup finals, according to Univision officials.
Through the first eight matches of the 64-game quadrennial tourney that concludes July 9 in Berlin, Univision has averaged 2.6 million two-plus viewers per march, 1.7 million more, or nearly three times, the audience of the 2002 competition from Korea/Japan. Univision also noted strong upticks among teens 12-17 and kids 2-11, with nearly five times and three times those demo levels, respectively.
Audiences were expected to grow this time around given the six hour-time differential to the East Coast, versus most of the 2002 competition airing live in overnight time slots from the Far East.
On the Anglo side of the Nielsen pitch, ABC Sports also got off to a strong start with the World Cup from Germany, averaging a 2.8 household rating for three matches, a 65% jump from a pair of games four years ago.
At 9 a.m. June 10. England-Paraguay posted a 2.7, versus a 1.4 for the Alphabet’s first match from Korea/Japan, a 1.4 for the match between Ireland and Cameroon June 1, 2002.
ABC earned a 2.7 for its presentation of Mexico-Iran, up 42% from the 1.9 the Sweden-England match measured June 2, 2002.
The broadcaster’s June 10 noontime match -- a scoreless draw between Sweden and upstart Trinidad & Tobago -- averaged a 2.9 household rating.
Nielsen results from the five matches covered by ESPN2 through June 11 should be available Tuesday afternoon.