The final match for the U.S. at the 2010 FIFA World Cup wasn't the side's best on the pitch, but it was on the small screen for ABC.
The round-of-16 match, in which the U.S. was eliminated by Ghana 2-1 in extra time, ranks as the most-watched men's World Cup game ever in this nation, and stands only behind the 1999 Women's World Cup final.
ABC netted averaged an 8.2 rating, 9.46 households and nearly 14.9 million viewers from 2:30 p.m. to 5:12 p.m. (ET) on June 26, the most for the 2010 tourney to date among households and viewers, according to Nielsen fast national data.
On Univision, the match drew another 4.5 million, the most ever for a World Cup game involving the U.S.men's national team, according to officials at the Spanish-language network.
ABC's telecast of the U.S. loss against Ghana trailed only the 1999 women's World Cup final which averaged some 11.3 million households, 11.4 rating and 17.98 million watchers as the U.S. topped China on penalty kicks and Brandi Chastain became a household name.
Additionally, the match ranks as the third highest-rated men's World Cup game in this nation, behind the 9.3 for the U.S.-Brazil on July 4, 1994 and the 9.5 for Brazil's win over Italy in the final on July 17, 1994, when the tournament was held in the States.
The fast-national performance of the U.S.-Ghana match represented increases of 11% in ratings from a 7.4 and 13% in viewership from 13.1 million against ABC's highly-anticipated U.S.-England World Cup game on June 12, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
.The full June 26 telecast, including 30 minutes of pre-match coverage (2 p.m.-5:12 p.m.) delivered a 7.5 household rating, 8.65 million households and 13.5 million viewers.
Through 50 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, ESPN/ESPN2/ABC) averaged a 1.8 U.S. national rating, 2.08 million households and 2.78 million viewers. That represents a 48% rise in ratings from a 1.2 from the same stage of the 2006 tournament from Germany, while household impressions are ahead 54% from 1.35 million and viewers 60% from 1.74 million.
The ratings and viewership numbers are based on match windows, excluding pre-match studio coverage.