World Cup Ratings: USA-Portugal Tops USA-Ghana for ESPN High

The 2-2 tie scored a 9.1 overnight rating Sunday for the self-pronounced Worldwide Leader in Sports

Sometimes a tie is really a win.

ESPN’s USA vs. Portugal telecast on Sunday, a 2-2 tie at Arena da Amazônia in Manaus, averaged a 9.1 overnight rating, making it the highest overnight rating ever for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, according to Nielsen.

Earlier this month, USA vs. Ghana yielded a 7.0 overnight rating in the 56 metered markets — a record at the time.

Also read: World Cup Nailbiter: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal Teammates Stun U.S. With Last-Gasp Goal

The telecast ranks as the third-highest Men’s World Cup match of any round on any ESPN-affiliated network — tied for ABC’s USA vs. Ghana round of 16 match in 2010, and behind ABC’s presentations of the 1994 World Cup Final featuring Brazil vs. Italy (12.8 overnight rating), and the 1994 USA-Brazil round of 16 match (10.4 rating).

Washington, D.C. again was the top U.S. metered market on Sunday. However, New York City — second in USA-Ghana — was overtaken by Columbus, Ohio, for runner-up. Boston placed fourth and Hartford-New Haven rounded out the top five.

Also read: TheWrap’s World Cup Power Rankings: Top 20 Soccer Players ($$$)

Here are the top 10 metered markets:
1. Washington, DC (13.3)
2. Columbus, Ohio (12.6)
3. New York (12.5)
4. Boston (11.5)
5. Hartford & New Haven (11.3)
6. Providence (11.2)
7. Atlanta (11.1)
8 Baltimore (11.0)
9. Norfolk (10.5)
10. Orlando (10.5)

Final ratings are expected to be available this afternoon.