ESPN3.com gets its largest audience ever

World Cup soccer brings in nearly 3.4 million unique users

While not quite reaching March Madness territory, the U.S. Soccer team's victory that wasn't scored a huge Friday morning audience for ESPN3.com.

Last Friday's (June 18) disputed tie between the U.S. and Slovenia resulted in the Web sports network grabbing its largest audience ever -- 798,911 unique viewers, according to ESPN officials. Between live and on-demand viewing of the match fans averaged 47 minutes on ESPN3.com, streaming a total of 624,425 hours of soccer.

The first week of World Cup action has been a boon to ESPN3.com, which was recently rebranded (the site was long known as ESPN360.com). From June 11 through June 18, close to 3.4 million unique users logged on to stream part of the tournament, accounting for 342.7 million minutes of video, per ESPN's internal numbers.

However, though soccer interest appears to be surging, it's not quite college basketball. During this year's NCAA men's basketball championship tournament, CBSSports.com and its affiliates drew over six million unique viewers -- to draw an imperfect comparison.

Besides live video, the World Cup has also captured the attention of mobile users, who generated 1.8 million video views during the tournament's first week, and Web radio listeners. During the final moments of the U.S. Slovenia game, ESPNRadio.com reached nearly 100,000 concurrent listeners.
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