Yesterday’s game, won by the U.S. 5-3 on penalty kicks after it tied the game in the 122nd minute, was watched in 2.6 percent of homes in the 56 biggest U.S. media markets, ESPN spokesman Mac Nwulu said today in an e-mail citing Nielsen Media Research.
The overnight ratings are the highest since the 1999 tournament, hosted and won by the U.S., and the second-highest in network history, Nwulu said. The U.S. team’s 2-0 semifinal victory over Brazil on July 4, 1999, was watched on ESPN by 3.2 percent of U.S. households. Its shootout victory over China in the final drew a 13.3 overnight rating on ABC, according to the Associated Press.
The audience for yesterday’s game also almost doubled that for the Americans’ 3-0 win over Colombia in the group stage on July 2, which drew a 1.4 rating, at the time the most-watched game since 1999, according to an e-mailed release from ESPN.
The U.S. scored on an own-goal by Brazil in the second minute yesterday in Dresden, Germany, and fell behind 2-1 following a pair of goals -- a penalty shot in the 68th minute and an overtime volley -- from forward Marta. U.S. forward Abby Wambach tied the game on a header with one minute remaining in overtime to force the shootout.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com