Pitch Dish

USA-Portugal Game was the Most Watched in ESPN History

The nail-biting game of this years World Cup between the United States and Portugal Sunday turned out to be the most watched soccer game in American history.

Today, ESPN released that the game averaged over 18 million viewers. This narrowly beat out the previous largest audience for the 1999 US womens World Cup final with just under 18 million viewers.

Approximately 11 million viewers watched last week’s USA-Ghana game. That total set a record for a soccer broadcast on an ESPN network and was the ninth-most watched overall. The games that had more viewers, including the 1994 men’s and 1999 women’s World Cup final, were all broadcast on ABC.

A broadcast of USA-Portugal on the Spanish-language Univision drew 6.5 million viewers, a record for an American game on the network. Combining both the ESPN and Univision numbers means the game had 24.7 million viewers, which also sets a new record for any soccer game broadcast in the United States. (That mark was previously held by the 2010 World Cup final, which attracted 24.3 million viewers on both ABC and Univision.)

As a comparison, the average late-afternoon Sunday football game on Fox averaged 27.2 million viewers in 2013.

Read More: usatoday.com

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