Brazil-Croatia: ESPN's Highest-Rated Opening FIFA World Cup Match
· Fourth-Highest-Rated of All 205 Group Play Games Back to 1994, and Best Non-U.S. Game
· Record Audience for any Event on WatchESPN
· Across Platforms, an Average of 4.9 Million Viewers
ESPN's Brazil vs. Croatia telecast on Thursday - the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil won by the home team 3-1 - averaged a 2.8 rating and 4.435 million viewers on ESPN, to rank as the highest-rated and most-viewed opening game of the World Cup on record (back to 1994), according to Nielsen. The rating is 49 percent higher than the opening match in 2010 (1.9, South Africa vs. Mexico), and the audience is 55 percent larger (2.856 million viewers)
In addition, of the 205 Group Play games ESPN networks have aired (records back to 1994) this contest is the fourth-highest-rated and fourth-most-viewed, topped only by three U.S. games:
Date Teams Rating Audience (P2+)
June 23, 2010 U.S. vs. Algeria 4.0 6,161,000
June 18, 2010 U.S. vs. Slovenia 3.4 5,200,000
June 22, 1994 U.S. vs. Colombia 2.9 4,810,000
June 12, 2014 Brazil vs. Croatia 2.8 4,435,000
Including a record audience on WatchESPN, across all platforms ESPN's presentation of the first of 64 games in the next month averaged 4.889 million viewers at any time.
The top-10 metered markets: Washington, DC (5.1), Boston (5.0), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (4.7), Los Angeles (4.6), New York (4.5), San Francisco (4.3), Hartford-New Haven (4.3), Providence (3.9), Austin (3.9) and Orlando (3.8).
On WatchESPN, Brazil vs. Croatia produced a record 1.1 million unique viewers and 50.1 million minutes across all streams and devices, up 132% and 172%, respectively, compared to the first match of the 2010 World Cup. The 1.1 million unique viewers were the highest ever for a WatchESPN event, and total minutes was second only to the 2014 BCS Championship Game.
Consumption of digital content across ESPN platforms was also up. Video starts on ESPNFC.com increased by 553%, compared to Day 1 of World Cup 2010. ESPN.com, which includes ESPNFC.com, was up 26% in unique visitors from the first day of World Cup 2010, including 12.8 million video starts for clips, up 62%. Unique visitors to the ESPN Mobile Web were up 65%, while unique visitors to the ESPN SportCenter app was up 465%, compared to the first day of World Cup 2010.
Upcoming ESPN World Cup Coverage
ESPN's FIFA World Cup coverage continues this weekend with seven matches on ESPN and ABC on Saturday and Sunday. Schedule.
ESPN's comprehensive coverage of the tournament includes all 64 matches televised live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes+. ABC's matches will also available on WATCH ABC.