U.S.-Portugal World Cup match draws largest ever soccer TV ratings

By Kyle Johnson,

While fans might be disappointed in the outcome of Sunday's World Cup match between the U.S. and Portugal, ESPN is likely happy as it was the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history.

The stunning 2-2 draw that ended with a Portugal equalizer as stoppage time ran out was watched by an average of 18.2 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which is the largest ever audience for a World Cup match.

The audience numbers also just eke out a new record of the most-watched soccer match, beating out the 1999 Women's World Cup final on ABC. The match between the U.S. and China was watched by 17.97 million viewers.

The U.S.-Portugal match pulled in 22.96 million viewers at its peak as it headed towards its climax. That number easily dwarfs the 11.1 million who tuned in to watch the opening U.S. match against Ghana.

The New York Daily News reports that nearly 1.4 million viewers watched the game through WatchESPN, which is also a new record.

The match was most-watched in the Washington, D.C. market, with viewers in Columbus and New York following in second and third, respectively.

image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFphoto.com



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