Tuesday's Team USA elimination averages a 9.6 overnight rating
America's loss is ESPN's gain — at least in the short term.
Team USA's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium — which eliminated the country from the World Cup tournament — is the cable giant's top-rated game ever.
This is the third time out of four American games since mid-June that the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports can make that claim.
Also read: Team USA Eliminated From World Cup
The loss in extra time averaged a network record 9.6 overnight rating. ESPN's television coverage peaked from 5:45 to 6 p.m. ET with a 14.1 rating.
ESPN's coverage posted a 5 percent increase over a Saturday afternoon telecast of the United States’ loss to Ghana in the 2010 World Cup Round of 16 (a 9.1 rating on ABC).
Including Tuesday's number, ESPN has posted its six highest metered market ratings for the men's World Cup this year.
The top-10 metered markets on Tuesday were:
1. New York (15.0)
2. Hartford/New Haven (13.2)
3. Washington, D.C. (12.8)
4. Richmond (12.3)
5. Boston (12.2)
6. West Palm Beach (12.0)
7. Baltimore (11.4)
8. Cincinnati (11.4)
9. San Diego (11.0)
10. (tie) Columbus (10.8), Norfolk (10.8) and Orlando (10.8)
To date, the highest-rated markets on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are:
1. Washington DC (4.5)
2. New York (4.2)
3. San Francisco (3.9)
4. Los Angeles (3.6)
5. (tie) San Diego (3.5), Orlando (3.5) and Hartford/New Haven (3.5)
8. (tie) Miami/Fort Lauderdale (3.4) and West Palm Beach (3.4)
10. (tie) Richmond (3.3) and Boston (3.3)
Fast national ratings and viewership numbers are expected to be available this afternoon.