June 13, 2014


World Cup 2014 has arrived, and ESPN has to be very encouraged with the audience for the opening match (host country Brazil versus Croatia).  Yesterday the match averaged 4,040,000 total viewers (any age) and a 1.72 adult 18-49 rating.  This is well above the opening match in 2010 from South Africa at 9:25 am ET (2,599,000 total viewers and 1.23 adult 18-49 rating) and is not far behind the average for 2010 matches on ESPN involving the USA team.  Soccer continues to skew young, with very solid men 18-34 ratings.

Don’t forget: these ratings are only for ESPN in homes with television.  This does not include any ESPN television viewing in bars, restaurants, hotels or offices or any ESPN streaming anywhere.  That audience is easily another few million, and there is an additional 5 million people in the US watching the match on Univision.  So the aggregated audience on all sources could be in the 12-14 million range.  But just looking at television ratings alone, the World Cup is on track for a successful run on ESPN and ESPN2 and ABC.

World Cup 2014 — U.S. Television Ratings Total Viewers Demographic Ratings
ET Match Score Persons 2+ Adults 18-49 Men 18-49 Men 18-34
1. Thu June 12 4:00 pm ESPN Brazil vs Croatia 3-1 4,040,000 1.72 2.43 2.76
World Cup 2010 Comparisons
Opening Day Matches
Fri June 11 9:25 am ESPN South Africa vs Mexico 1-1 2,599,000 1.23 1.92 2.16
Fri June 11 2:00 pm ESPN Uruguay vs France 0-0 2,724,000 1.27 1.98 2.08
ESPN Averages
var var. var. ESPN All Live 2010 Matches 2,281,000 1.03 1.55 1.63
var var. var. ESPN 2010 USA Matches 5,038,000 2.19 3.14 3.34
var June 11-25 ESPN Group Stage Live Matches 2,131,000 0.97 1.47 1.57
var June 26-July 7 ESPN Knockout Stage Live Matches 2,792,000 1.21 1.79 1.85 


Note:  The nightly ESPN2 WORLD CUP LIVE round-up telecast at 7PM had a 0.29 rating in 18-49s, which went to 0.42 for Men 18-49 and 0.49 for Men 18-34.  The same network’s WORLD CUP PRIMETIME LIVE at 8:30PM was at 0.25/0.31/0.27

ESPN/ABC Televised Day 2 Matches (all times Eastern)

5:30AM:  Mexico vs. Cameroon – ESPN2

8:30AM:  Spain vs. Netherlands – ESPN

11:30AM:  Chile vs. Australia – ESPN2


About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.