Mexico vs. USA: ESPN's Most-Viewed and Highest-Rated FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match
Last night's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Mexico and the United States - a hard-fought 0-0 tie at the historic Estadio Azteca in Mexico City - was seen by an average 2.385 million viewers, 1.644 million households based on a 1.4 U.S. household rating (1.7 coverage rating), making it the most-watched and highest-rated FIFA World Cup qualifying match (or international friendly) telecast on an ESPN network, according to Nielsen Media.
Viewers for the Mexico-USA match doubled the audience for USA vs. Mexico (Feb. 11, 2009), which set the previous ESPN records for viewership - 1.191 million viewers, 795,000 households, based on a 0.7 household U.S. rating on ESPN2.
Five Most-Viewed World Cup Qualifying or International Friendly Matches on ESPN:
Date Match Network Rating P2+ (Viewers)
Tue, March 26, 2013 Mexico vs. USA (WCQ) ESPN 1.4 2,385,000
Wed, Feb 11, 2009 USA vs. Mexico (WCQ) ESPN2 0.7 1,191,000
Wed, May 30, 2012 USA vs. Brazil (Friendly) ESPN2 0.6 1,128,000
Wed, Feb 7, 2007 USA vs. Mexico (Friendly) ESPN2 0.6 1,091,000
Wed, Oct 14, 2009 USA vs. Costa Rica (WCQ) ESPN2 0.6 1,090,000
Birmingham, Ala. was the top market for the match telecast, delivering a 2.9 rating. Rounding out the top five were: Austin, Texas (2.6), Seattle-Takoma, Wash. (2.4), Columbus, Ohio (2.4), and three markets - Los Angeles, San Diego, Hartford-New Haven, Conn., - were tied for fifth place (2.3).
In addition, ESPN's unprecedented coverage earned critical acclaim as well as garnered praise on social media ranging from the depth of coverage, insightful analysis and reporting, through an outstanding three-person commentating team in the booth for live match telecast. ESPN Front Row compiled a sampling of those comments.
ESPN Digital Media:
On digital platforms, fans followed the Mexico vs. USA match live via ESPNFC Match HQ and ESPNdeportes.com Gamecast online, spending a total of 1.3 million minutes. Viewers of the Mexico vs. USA match via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox also logged the highest total live minutes consumed of any of this past week's World Cup qualifying matches, generating 3.4 million minutes across platforms. Additionally, the day after the match on Wednesday, Mar. 27th logged the most video starts ever for short form video on ESPNFC.com in a single day with over 1.5 million, in large part due to highlights and reaction to the Mexico vs. USA match.