Showdown between Germany and Argentina hits a 20-year World Cup high for the networks
The World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina might not have been the highest scoring soccer game on record, but the match led to some pretty big numbers for ESPN and ABC.
The game, which saw Germany squeeze out a 1-0 victory in extra time, averaged 17,324,000 total viewers with its ABC telecast — the most-watched World Cup Final ever. It was also the third-most watched World Cup match in the U.S. overall, behind ESPN's coverage of this year's USA vs. Portugal match and the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final between the U.S. and China, which aired on ABC.
In metered market ratings, Sunday's Final match averaged a 9.7 overnight rating — the third-highest metered market rating for any World Cup match ever on ESPN and ABC.
Sunday's match marked a 20-year World Cup ratings high for the networks. The only two games to surpass it were during World Cup 1994 — the Final between Brazil and Italy, which scored a 12.8 rating, and a match between the United States and Brazil, which had a 10.4 rating.
The top market for Sunday's game was Washington, D.C., which yielded a 15.4 rating, followed by San Diego (13.4); Los Angeles (13.0); San Francisco (also a 13.0); Orlando (12.6) and New York (12.5).
ESPN's ratings for the game peaked between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m. ET, a period that earned a 14.2 rating.
On Univision Deportes, the World Cup Final averaged 9.2 million total viewers,, making it the most-watched World Cup Final in U.S. Spanish-language television history.