Ratings Roundup: World Cup Continues to Deliver for ESPN, Univision; NBA Draft Scores Best Overnight Ever on ESPN

Thursday’s ultra-hyped World Cup match between USA and Germany on ESPN averaged a 6.7 US HH rating and 10,771,000 viewers, making it the second highest-rated, and third most-viewed, men’s World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2 ever. The telecast is second only to last Sunday’s USA vs. Portugal contest (9.6 US HH rating) in ratings. It trails USA’s first two matches in viewership as USA-Portugal averaged 18,220,000 viewers and USA vs. Ghana on June 16 averaged 11,093,000 viewers (and 6.3 US HH rating). At its highest point, ESPN’s USA-Germany telecast averaged 12,055,000 viewers and a 7.7 US HH rating from 1:30 to 2 p.m. The telecast also ranks as ESPN’s most-viewed weekday, non-holiday, afternoon program on record. New York led all markets for ESPN’s USA vs. Germany telecast with a 9.7 rating, followed by San Diego (8.6) and Sacramento (8.3).

Overall, ESPN has generated its largest viewership for the 48 opening round World Cup matches ever, averaging 3,540,000 viewers and 2.2 US HH rating for ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC telecasts combined. The 2014 averages also marks significant increases over ESPN’s opening round telecasts in 2010 and 2006: 46 percent and 109 percent (vs. 2,429,000 viewers in 2010 and 1,691,000 in 2006), and 38 percent and 83 percent (vs. 1.6 rating in 2010 and 1.2 in 2006), respectively. Overall, Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the 48 Group Play matches with a 4.0 average rating, followed by New York (3.7), San Francisco (3.5).

…As expected, the USA-Germany game also set a new record for live streaming on WatchESPN and Univision’s non-authenticated service. The match added an additional 1,050,000 viewers in the average minute audience to ESPN’s telecast. Overall, the WatchESPN coverage had 3,200,000 unique viewers and 143,000,000 live minutes viewed. This accounted for a 10% lift to ESPN’s English-language TV audience. WatchESPN’s peak of 1,700,000 concurrent users set a record for the platform. WatchESPN is averaging 737,000 viewers and 31,100,000 minutes watched through 48 World Cup matches for increases of 149 percent and 143 percent, respectively.

Univision’s free, non-authenticated live stream of the USA/Germany matchup notched 750,000 live concurrent streams for the USA/Germany matchup to set a new record for the network. To add some context, the U.S.-Canada men’s hockey game in Sochi on NBC Sports Live Extra (Feb. 21) generated more than 2.12 million unique streamers,  exceeding the non-authenticated tally for Super Bowl XLVI, which peaked at 1.1. million concurrent users…

…Univision Deportes’ presentation of the Mexico vs. Croatia match on June 23, delivered the most-viewed group stage match in Univision Deportes history, averaging 7.1 million Total Viewers and 3.9 million Adults 18-49. The match reached 12.6 million Total Viewers who tuned into all or part of the broadcast. Through 36 matches, Univision Deportes coverage of the 2014 World Cup is pacing ahead of its 2010 World Cup coverage by +46% among Total Viewers and +33% among Adults 18-49. Univision Deportes coverage of the Mexico match ranked as the most-viewed match of the day, across all networks, almost tripling ESPN’s coverage of the match among both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. Univision Deportes aired the top two most-viewed matches on Monday, Mexico vs. Croatia and Netherlands vs. Chile. The Netherlands vs. Chile match delivered 2.6 million Total Viewers and 1.4 million Adults 18-49 at 12p, besting ESPN’s coverage of the same match by +40% and +46%, respectively.

On the digital side, Univision Digital’s live stream coverage of the 2014 World Cup has reached 6.4 million unique viewers through 36 matches, +11% lift to Univision TV audience. Univision Digital is averaging 1.2 million live streams per match, +197% from the 2010 World Cup. Univision Digital’s 2014 World Cup live stream reach has already more than doubled its entire 2010 World Cup Digital live stream reach…

…The 2014 NBA Draft on ESPN delivered a 3.1 overnight rating, the highest-rated NBA Draft ever on ESPN. The Draft was up 19 percent compared to last year’s telecast, which posted a 2.6 overnight rating. The Draft peaked at a 3.9 rating from both 8:15-8:30 and 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET. The previous NBA Draft record on ESPN was a 2.7 overnight rating in 2003 – the first year ESPN televised the event – which featured the historic Draft class of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. Louisville topped all markets with a 7.1 rating, followed by Oklahoma City (6.3), Memphis (5.4), Raleigh-Durham (5.2), and Cleveland (5.1)…

…The final game of the College World Series final hit a five-year viewership high on ESPN, as Game 3 (the first Game 3 since 2009) of the Vanderbilt/Virginia final earned 2.4 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night. That is the largest audience for any game of the championship series since LSU/Texas Game 3 in 2009 (3.2M). Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night earned 1.8 million viewers, up 37% from UCLA/Mississippi State last year (1.3M), while Monday’s Game 1 also drew 1.8 million, up 12% from last year (1.6M). (SportsMediaWatch)…

…NBCSN’s live presentation of the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, June 22 (7:30-9:42 a.m. ET) averaged 413,000 viewers, making it the third-most watched F1 race to date on NBCSN, up 58% against NBCSN’s 2013 F1 average race viewership in the 7:30 a.m. ET window. Over the first six races of the 2014 season on NBCSN, Formula 1 has drawn 377,000 average viewers, up 111% from the first six races of the 2013 F1 season (179,000 viewers). Four of NBCSN’s five most-watched F1 telecasts have come this season…

…Both NBC and ESPN2 saw big ratings jumps for the U.S. Women’s Open thanks to the Michelle Wie’s first win in a Major. Final round coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open earned a 1.7 overnight rating on NBC, up 89% from both last year and 2012 (0.9) and the highest overnight for final round coverage since 2007 (1.9). Third round coverage on Saturday earned a 1.2 overnight, up 71% from last year (0.7) and topping the PGA on CBS (0.9). (SportsMediaWatch)

ESPN2, meanwhile averaged a 0.4 U.S. rating and 498,000 viewers for coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open, up 100% in ratings and 118% in viewership from last year (0.2, 229K). Friday coverage earned 559,000 viewers, up 138% from last year (235K), while Thursday coverage drew 437,000, up 96% from last year (223K). Both telecasts earned a 0.4 U.S. rating. (SportsMediaWatch)…

…Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Sonoma earned a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.7 million viewers, down 7% in ratings and virtually flat in viewership compared to last year (3.0, 4.7M). Viewership for the race was up just 0.3% from last year, rising from 4.66 million to 4.68 million. Still, that marked the third viewership increase of the season for Sprint Cup racing, and the second on TNT. (SportsMediaWatch)

…Saturday’s WSOF (World Series of Fighting) 10 on NBC Sports Network received its largest viewing audience ever with 365,000 tuning in to see David Branch defeat Jesse Taylor in the main event, besting the previous record television audience record (WSOF 4 – 264,000 viewers) by 38%.

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