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World Cup Brazil vs. Croatia Opener Scores Biggest Ratings Since 1998

And possibly even longer: ESPN began receiving local ratings 16 years ago


The 2014 FIFA World Cup Opening game was a score for ESPN, providing the highest overnight rating for an opener since at least 1998, when the network began receiving local ratings for the event.

The game‘s 3.2 overnight rating represents a 52 percent increase from the opening match in 2010 (2.1, South Africa vs. Mexico).

Washington, D.C. was the top metered-market for the game, which Brazil won 3-1. Boston was second, Miami third. Los Angeles and New York rounded out the top five, respectively.

Here are the top 10:

1. Washington, D.C., 5.1
2. Boston, 5.0
3. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, 4.7
4. Los Angeles, 4.6
5. New York, 4.5
6. San Francisco, 4.3
7. Hartford-New Haven, 4.3
8. Providence, 3.9
9. Austin, 3.9
10. Orlando, 3.8

Final ratings for the opener are expected to be available Friday afternoon.

ESPN’s FIFA World Cup coverage continues Friday with three matches: Mexico vs. Cameroon (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2), defending World Cup champion Spain vs. Netherlands (3 p.m., ESPN) and Chile vs. Australia (5:30 p.m., ESPN2).