July 14th, 2014
ESPNâ€™s telecast of Wednesdayâ€™s Netherlands vs. Argentina FIFA World Cup semifinal match â€“ a 0-0 tie in which Argentina advanced to the Final past Netherlands in a penalty kick shootout at Arena de Sao Paulo â€“ ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup semifinal match ever on any U.S. network, according to Nielsen. The match averaged a 4.3 U.S. householdÂ ratingÂ and 6,823,000 viewers on Dish Network and otherwise.
Netherlands vs. Argentina surpassed the previous best World Cup semifinal â€“ Brazil vs. Germany on Tuesday, July 8, which was seen by an average audience of 6,643,000 viewers based on a 4.2 rating.Â This World Cup in Brazil has produced the top-two semifinal matches in the quadrennial tournament, and the 2014 semifinals average of a 4.2 U.S. household rating is up 56 percent from a 2.7 rating in 2010, and up 45 percent from a 2.9 rating in 2006.
Additionally, the Netherlands vs. Argentina semifinal match ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2 not involving the U.S. Menâ€™s National Team.
Through 62 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are averaging 4,289,000 viewers and a 2.7 US household rating per match. The 2014 audience marks increases of 43 percent (vs. 2,989,000 in 2010) and 108 percent (2,060,000 in 2006) in viewers, and 42 percent (vs. 1.9 in 2010) and 93 percent (1.4 in 2006) in ratings. (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.)
For the second time in as many days, WatchESPN established new highs for a non-U.S. team soccer match, as 2.4 million unique viewers watched Wednesdayâ€™s Netherlands vs. Argentina semifinal for a total of 140 million minutes, providing a 12 percent lift to ESPNâ€™s English-language television viewership. Netherlands vs. Argentina surpassed Tuesdayâ€™s Brazil vs. Germany semifinal, which had 2.1 million unique viewers and 90 million minutes viewed.
ESPNFC.comÂ yesterdayÂ had 6.9 million video starts, up nearly 1,500% percent over the comparable day for World Cup 2010, while ESPNâ€™sÂ SportsCenterÂ app had 3.6 million unique users, a 445% percent gain from the comparable day in 2010.
Categories: Sports Previews, Analysis & Guides