ESPN had plenty to crow about with its coverage of the U.S.-Mexico World Cup
match in the wee hours of June 17: It was the fourth-most-watched soccer
telecast in the network's history.
But one could excuse Univision Communications Inc. executives for screaming a
little louder, given that the match -- a 2-0 U.S. triumph -- marked the highest
viewership level ever for a Spanish-language sports telecast.
The match, which kicked off at 2:15 a.m. and ended at 4:30 a.m., delivered
some 4.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Hispanic Television Index. That
topped the previous record-holder, the 1998 World Cup final between France and
Brazil, according to a Univision spokeswoman.
The Mexico-U.S. match also attracted more Hispanic viewers than all sporting
events broadcast year-to-date -- including the 2002 Super Bowl and all National
Basketball Association Finals games -- among such key demographic groups as men
and women, adults 18 through 34 and adults 18 through 49.
Univision added that its broadcast delivered 42 percent more total viewers
than ESPN's competing broadcast.