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The World Cup continues to break ratings records for ESPN, with Wednesday’s semifinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands hitting a new overnight high for the network.
The game, which ended in a penalty shootout and victory for Argentina, averaged an 4.3 overnight rating for ESPN, the best-ever result for a World Cup semifinal on the network. It beat out the previous record – the 4.1 overnight rating for Tuesday’s Brazil vs Germany semifinal.
Overall, the 62 World Cup matches that have aired on ESPN, ESPN 2 and the ABC networks, have averaged a 3.0 market rating, or 30 percent higher than the first 62 matches of the 2010 World Cup.
ESPN’s all-time ratings high this tournament was for the US team’s final World Cup match against Belgium, which averaged a 9.6 rating and drew 16.5 million viewers nationally. In terms of total audience, ESPN’s peak was the US vs Portugal group match, which pulled 18.2 million viewers.
This year’s semifinals averaged a 4.2 overnight rating, 50 percent stronger than the 2.8 overnight average hit by the 2010 games.
ESPN will be releasing final national ratings and viewership numbers later today.
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