El Tri was on the wrong end of the score, but UniMas was the right place in the eyes of more than 4 million viewers for its coverage of the Mexico-U.S. World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.
The Spanish-language broadcast network, the former TeleFutura, averaged 4.1 million viewers with its Sept. 10 presentation of the United States’ 2-0 win over Mexico, a total that included 2.5 million persons 18 to 49, according to Nielsen data. Univision officials said the match ranked as the third-most-viewed telecast on UniMas in terms of audience and with the demo.
The total delivery exceeded ESPN’s coverage of the match, which drew 2.2 million, its second most ever for a World Cup Qualifers or international friendly, behind the 2.38 million who watched the nations' WCQ meeting on March 26.
All told, 7.5 million watched some or all of the Sept. 10 game on UniMas, the result of which has left Mexico scrambling to qualify for the 2014 World Cup with only two games remaining in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.
Over 3.5 million, including 2.1 million in the aforementioned age group, watched the entire telecast, including pre- and post-game segments, running from 7:33 p.m. to 10:10 p.m.
The Sept. 10 match came on hard on the cleats of another big audience for UniMas with the Mexican national team. The side’s 2-1 loss to Honduras on Sept. 6 averaged 3.9 million, including 2.5 million adults 18 to 4, among them, from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. that night.
The U.S. and Costa Rica have claimed two of CONCACAF’s three automatic berths for the 2014 World Cup, while Honduras, with 11 points is in third. Currently, Mexico is tied for fourth with Panama – both have 8 -- and those nations will square off in their penultimate 2014 WCQ at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Oct. 11. The third-place finisher also will advance to the 2014 World Cup finals, while the fourth-place CONCACAF entry would have to beat New Zealand to make it to Brazil next June.
Univision Communications and its sports arm, Univision Deportes, have not yet announced whether Mexico-Panama match will air on UniMas, or the flagship Univision network. Mexico’s final WCQ is against Costa Rica on Oct. 15, with the match slated for Telemundo.