World Cup Ratings: Final U.S. Showing Brings Near-Record 16.5 Million to ESPN

UPDATED: Tuesday's fourth and final game for the Americans sees viewership continue to climb, though the cable network comes shy of the recent high for soccer in the states.
AP Photo/Matt Dunham
World Cup soccer

America's World Cup fever may have reached its pinnacle. Though nearly two weeks remain for the 2014 FIFA tournament, the U.S. team played their final game on Tuesday evening — and ESPN telecast brought in a whopping 16.5 million viewers.

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For those keeping track of records, that makes it the second-most-watched U.S. men's soccer game for this or any year, the third-most-watched soccer game in U.S. history and the third-most-watched ESPN telecast all year. It comes in shy of only the Germany game (18.2 million) and 26 million viewers who tuned into January's BCS Championship game.

As has been the case throughout all of the World Cup, particularly the bigger games to take place during the workday in Eastern and Pacific time zones, streaming of the game was also at a high. An average 3.5 million user tuned into WatchESPN app. It also nabbed a platform record average minute audience of 1,107,000 viewers.

Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and broadcast sibling ABC have reached nearly 100 million viewers through the first 52 matches.

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And on Univision, which set an all-time record with Sunday's Mexico-Netherlands match, the network posted an average 5.1 million viewers for U.S. and Germany. And tournament-to-date, Univision has reached 71 million viewers.

ESPN viewership for 2014 U.S. World Cup games

U.S. vs Belgium (July 1): 16.5 million
U.S. vs Germany (June 26): 10.8 million
U.S. vs Portugal (June 22): 18.2 million
U.S. vs Ghana (June 17): 11.1 million