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July 18, 2011
WWC Final top cable rating ever for soccer

BRISTOL, Conn.---Sunday’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals between the United States and Japan – which crowned Japan as tournament champion on a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2-2 tie – was seen by an average 13.458 million viewers, based on a 7.4 U.S. household rating (8.58 million household impressions), making it the most-watched and highest-rated soccer telecast on an ESPN network, based on fast nationals by the Nielsen Company.

The USA-Japan thriller bests the USA-Algeria men’s match (June 23, 2010) from last summer’s FIFA World Cup, which set the previous ESPN records for both ratings and viewership – 6.16 million viewers, based on a 4.0 household U.S. rating (4.58 million households).

The match also ranks as the sixth most-viewed soccer telecast ever in the United States.

Most-Viewed Soccer Events in the United States:
Date Match Network U.S. Rating P2+ (Viewers)
Sat., July 10, 1999 USA vs. China – Final ABC 11.4 (17,975,000)
Sun., July 11, 2010 Netherlands vs. Spain – Final ABC 8.4 (15,905,000)
Sat., June 26, 2010 USA vs. Ghana – Round of 16 ABC 8.5 (15,193,000)
Sun., July 17, 1994 Italy vs. Brazil – Final ABC 9.5 (14,510,000)
Mon., July 4, 1994 Brazil vs. USA – Round of 16 ABC 9.3 (13,694,000)
Sun., July 17, 2011 USA vs. Japan – Final ESPN 7.4 (13,458,000)
Sun., July 9, 2006 Italy vs. France – Final ABC 7.0 (11,961,000)

Additional highlights from Sunday’s Finals:
• The second most-watched daytime telecast (Monday – Sunday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.) in cable history, behind the Rose Bowl on ESPN (20.557 million viewers on Jan. 1, 2011).
• The sixth most-watched cable telecast of the year;
• Excluding NFL games, the fifth most-watched sports telecast on ESPN, trailing only the 2011 BCS games.

Baltimore was the top market for Sunday’s Women’s World Cup Finals, delivering a 12.3 rating. Rounding out the top five were: San Diego (11.8), West Palm Beach (11.7), Washington, D.C. (11.5), and Norfolk, Va. (11.1).

Boston pulled and 8.4 rating, ranked #36 in the country

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