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Team USA’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Portugal Sunday night was the most watched World Cup game ever on ESPN, drawing an average 9.1 overnight rating for the sports network.
The broadcast ranked as the third-highest ever recorded in the U.S. English-speaking market for a World Cup match, behind two games carried on ABC, both of them during the 1994 World Cup, which was held in the U.S.
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The 9.1 rating equals the overnight results for ABC’s USA vs. Ghana round of 16 match in 2010. It only trails the 10.4 overnight achieved by ABC for USA vs. Brazil and the 12.8 overnight for the Brazil vs. Italy final in 1994.
The nation’s capital was again the most soccer-mad of the top 10 metered markets in the U.S., drawing a 13.3 share for last night’s game.
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Despite the late kick-off, European fans watched USA vs. Portugal in impressive numbers. The biggest European audience for the match was in Germany, where 4.75 million viewers stayed up for the midnight kick-off, 51.7 percent of the viewing audience.
Some 56.4 percent of the Dutch late-night audience, or 861,000 viewers, also watched the game in which USA was robbed of an upset victory by a late goal by Portugal.
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In the U.K., enthusiasm for the World Cup is waning after England’s early, ignominious first-round exit. But the USA vs. Portugal game still drew an impressive 3.06 million viewers on BBC1, an average 34.4 percent share.
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