by A.J. Coltrane
From this ESPN link — “U.S. Soccer Ratings Top NBA Finals”
NEW YORK — An estimated 21.6 million people watched Belgium knock out the United States in the World Cup on U.S. television — an impressive total for a weekday afternoon that almost certainly undercounts how many people actually saw it.
The Nielsen company said Wednesday that 16.5 million people watched the game on ESPN, with 5.1 million more seeing it on the Spanish-language Univision network. In addition, nearly 1.7 million people watched an online stream of the event, Nielsen said…
…Nielsen does not measure viewership in bars, offices or other public places. In 2010, ESPN estimated that the stated audience size for weekday World Cup games would increase by 23 percent if public viewing were taken into account.
Still, Tuesday’s knockout game exceeded the average viewership for the most recent World Series and NBA Finals, events that took place during prime-time when more people were home to watch.
The just-concluded NBA Finals where the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat averaged 15.5 million viewers, with 18 million watching the final game. Last fall’s World Series averaged 14.9 million viewers, with 19.2 million watching the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the last game…
…ESPN said that overall viewership for the World Cup is up 44 percent over 2010.
The really positive sign for soccer in the U.S. is the 44 percent overall increase in viewership. Even games that don’t involve the U.S. are way up. My workplace showed the Belgium vs U.S. game — I’d guess at least 20 or 30 people watched some part of it. Everyone was glued to the tv, even though the laptop feed would hang for multiple seconds. It sort of doubled the anguish at times.
But hey, soccer at work. Nobody complained.