World Cup Ratings: Mexico Loss Sets Univision Record, Knockouts Thrive Without Team USA

UPDATED: ESPN notches some of its best tournament overnights for the Netherlands-Mexico and Greece-Costa Rica games, while ABC shares a victory with Brazil and Univision soars with the most watched Spanish-language telecast in U.S. history.
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The weekend was a big one for U.S. coverage of the World Cup, despite the fact that the Americans don't return to the pitch until Tuesday. Knockout-round matches over Saturday and Sunday brought highs to ESPN, ABC and, most particularly, Univision.

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Mexico's last-minute loss to the Netherlands on Sunday scored Univision its most watched telecast ever with 10.4 million viewers. It blasts past any previous U.S. Spanish-language broadcast, eclipsing the previous high (9 million) Univision set in 2007 with telenova Destilando Amor.

The network outperformed ESPN's ratings for the game in such key markets as Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Dallas.

Saturday's shoot-out victory for Brazil brought record audiences to ABC. The Brazil-Chile match averaged a 3.8 households rating and 6.14 million viewers. That's the biggest non-U.S. team soccer game for either ABC or ESPN.

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The cable network also scored with Netherlands vs. Mexico on Sunday morning, though not as highly as Univision. ESPN averaged a 4.0 household rating and nearly 6.6 million viewers. The victory for Costa Rica over Greece proved to be almost as great of a draw, averaging a 3.9 rating and 6.4 million viewers.