ABC, Univision Notch Most-Watched Men’s World Cup Final Ever, Set New Streaming Marks

Sunday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Final  – a 1-0 victory in extra time over Argentina – ranks as the most-watched Men’s World Cup Final match ever with 26.5 million total viewers tuning in on ABC and Univision.

Based on Nielsen fast nationals, the ABC telecast averaged 17,324,000 viewers and a 9.1 US HH rating for the game window (3-5:44 p.m. ET). It also ranks as the third most-viewed World Cup game – men’s or women’s – in the United States behind ESPN’s coverage of this year’s USA vs. Portugal match ever (18,220,000 viewers) and the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on ABC (USA vs. China with 17,975,000 viewers). At its highest point, the ABC telecast averaged 20,781,000 viewers and an 11.0 US HH rating from 5 to 5:30 p.m.

In addition to ABC’s telecast, the final match on WatchESPN generated 1,800,000 live unique viewers, 112,100,000 live minutes viewed and the highest time spent per viewer (63 minutes) of any match of the 2014 World Cup. Sunday’s final on WatchESPN provided a 4% lift to the English-language television viewership on ABC with an average minute audience of 657,000 viewers.

Univision Deportes, meanwhile, also delivered its most-viewed World Cup final match ever, averaging 9.2 million Total Viewers, along with 5.0 million Adults 18-49 (the match aired on Univision Network as was simulcast on Univision Deportes Network). The match bested the previous World Cup final high set on 7/11/10 (Netherlands vs. Spain) by +4% among Total Viewers.

Most-Viewed and Highest-Rated World Cup Ever
The 2014 FIFA World Cup ranks as the most-viewed World Cup ever on English-language TV in the United States. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combined to average 4,557,000 viewers and a 2.8 US household rating for the 64 matches, marking increases of 39 percent and 96 percent (vs. 3,273,000 in 2010 and 2,321,000 in 2006), and 33 percent and 75 percent (vs. 2.1 in 2010 and 1.6 in 2006), respectively. WatchESPN averaged 892,000 unique viewers and nearly 41 million total minutes per game for increases 174 percent and 173 percent, respectively, over the 2010 World Cup. WatchESPN had an average minute audience of 304,000 over the course of the tournament, providing a 7% lift to English-language viewership. Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC television networks have combined to reach an estimated 115 million people through the semifinals (62 of 64 overall matches).

The highlight for ESPN was the USA vs. Portugal on June 22 (18,220,000 viewers and a 9.6 US HH rating), which became the most-viewed soccer game in the United States – men’s or women’s – ever. In addition, nine of most-viewed men’s World Cup matches ever on ESPN or ESPN2 and 10 of the top 20 when including telecasts that aired on ABC took place during the Cup.

Univision Deportes coverage of the World Cup reached a record 80.9 million Total Viewers, up 65% more than the 2010 World Cup (49.1 million). Impressively, 32 matches into this year’s tournament, Univision Deportes’ had already surpassed the entire 2010 World Cup reach and the network delivered its best viewership ever in the Group, Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final stages of the tournament. During the 2014 World Cup, Univision Deportes Network increased viewership by +256% among Total Viewers and +244% among Adults 18-49 in total day and by +78% among Total Viewers and +70% among Adults 18-49 in primetime – and bested FS1, MLB Network, and NBCSN during that span.

The highlight for Univision occurred on June 29, when Univision Deportes delivered the most-viewed telecast in U.S. Spanish-Language television history with the Mexico vs. Netherlands match, which averaged 10.4 million Total Viewers and 5.8 million Adults 18-49.

Record Streaming Numbers
The 2014 World Cup was also the most streamed sporting event ever, with WatchESPN logging 43,300,000 hours (2.6 billion live minutes) of live match viewing for all 64 matches.

Univision Digital’s live stream coverage of the 2014 World Cup reached 10.0 million unique viewers, 4time  larger than Univision’s 2010 World Cup digital coverage. Univision Digital’s live stream reach of the 2014 World Cup added a +12% lift to the Univision TV audience. Univision’s live streams averaged 1.1 million per match, +232% more larger than 2010 World Cup. Univision Digital 2014 World Cup live streams recorded 29 million hours, 3x longer than 2010 World Cup.

The USA vs. Belgium match recorded the most live stream viewers ever on Univision Digital, reaching 1.8 million unique viewers and adding a 14% incremental reach to linear. The Mexico vs. Brazil match on June 17 recorded 1.6 million unique viewers, outperforming WatchESPN’s 1.3 million unique viewers for the same match.

Local Market Highlights
Top 10 markets for Sunday’s nearly four-hour Final telecast on ABC (including pre-match programming): Washington, D.C. (15.4), San Diego (13.4), Los Angeles (13.0), San Francisco (13.0), Orlando (12.6), New York (12.5), Sacramento (12.0), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (11.5), West Palm Beach (10.8) and Las Vegas (10.7).

ESPN’s coverage also posted a record rating for at least one World Cup match on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC in 36 of the 56 metered markets. Through all 64 matches, the top-10 markets for ESPN/ABC coverage include: Washington, D.C. (4.9), New York (4.6), San Francisco (4.4), Los Angeles (4.0), San Diego (4.0), Hartford-New Haven (3.9), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (3.8), Orlando (3.8) and (tied) West Palm Beach, Richmond, Baltimore and Boston (3.6).

During the Argentina vs. Germany match, Univision stations outdelivered the same match on ABC (3:00 p.m.-5:45 p.m. ET) among Total Viewers in Miami and Houston; Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles and Miami; and Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Phoenix.

More Digital Numbers averaged nearly 13,000,000 daily unique visitors and 12,000,000 video starts per day, up 40 percent and 161 percent, respectively, over 2010. ESPN’s SportsCenter app averaged 3,600,000 million average daily unique visitors (up 409 percent from 2010), while the new averaged 5.1 million video starts per day (up 970% from 2010.) Driven by World Cup content across all digital platforms, ESPN reached 80.7 million unique visitors in June, establishing a new sports category record, topping ESPN’s previous category high of 72.7 million in September 2013. (comScore Multi-platform Data), scored high traffic during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, averaging 566,000 unique users every day for a 52 percent over 2010. The site also averaged 3,800,000 video starts per day (up 284 percent from 2010). Fans spent 37,500,000 minutes on the site throughout the tournament. In addition, an average of 121,000 users accessed ESPN Deportes via mobile every day in the same time period for a 171 percent increase year-over-year. Video starts on mobile averaged 1,900,000 per day (up 96 percent compared to last year). Users spent 31,600,000 minutes on the site.

Univision Digital recorded its 25 highest trafficked days during the 2014 World Cup. Monday, June 23, tops the list as Univision Digital’s highest traffic day ever with 10.3 million visits. Univision Digital 2014 World Cup coverage reached 27.5 million unique visitors across platforms.

Univision Digital 2014 World Cup traffic was 87% mobile compared to 37% for 2010 World Cup. The Univision Deportes app has recorded over 3.4 million downloads since the beginning of the 2014 World Cup, four times the number of downloads recorded for the app in 2013. The app held the No. 1 free sports app rank in the Google Play Store for twelve consecutive days (June 12 to June 25, 2014). The app has consistently ranked among the top three free sports apps in the Google Play Store since the start of the 2014 World Cup on June 12, 2014.

Huge Viewership North of the Border
In Canada, CBC’s FIFA World Cup coverage also set new records for television and online viewing, as approximately 30.7 million Canadians tuned in at some point during the month-long tournament from Brazil, which represents 89% of the country’s population. Of that total, 6.6 million watched at least part of a game online. The average television audience for the tournament reached 1.7 million, an increase of 39% over the previous high.

An average of 4.93 million watched on television to see Germany’s dramatic 1-0 victory over Argentina in the final Sunday, making it the most watched match of the tournament and the most watched Word Cup final ever, edging the 2010 mark. Viewership for the final peaked at 7.4 million in the game’s final stages, with 11.3 million tuning in at some point during the English-language broadcast.The average viewership for Sunday’s championship was greater than last year’s Grey Cup, the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, and every Stanley Cup playoff game.

CBC’s FIFA World Cup App and its French-language counterpart, were downloaded more than 1.1 million times. Website traffic saw an increase of 45% in page views and 51% in video views compared to the 2010 World Cup. Canadians logged 13.5-million hours of video viewing across all digital platforms, with about a half-million catching at least some part of the championship final on a digital platform.

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