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Women’s World Cup Final Draws Best TV Rating Since 1999 Edition

The Women’s World Cup final between Japan and the U.S. drew the largest big-market television rating for a tournament game in 12 years and the second-highest in history, Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN said.

Yesterday’s game, which Japan won 3-1 on penalty kicks after the teams tied 2-2 in overtime in Frankfurt, was seen on ESPN in an average of 8.6 percent of households in the top 56 U.S. television markets, Nate Smeltz, a spokesman for the network, said in an e-mail.

The overnight rating is the highest since the 1999 tournament, which the U.S. hosted and won, and also the highest in network history. The U.S. team’s 2-0 semifinal win over Brazil in 1999 was watched by an average of 3.2 percent of U.S. households on ESPN. Its shootout win over China in the final, which was aired by ABC, drew a 13.3 overnight rating, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. win in this year’s quarterfinal over Brazil drew a 2.6 rating.

The end of the yesterday’s final, which came after Japan twice rallied from one-goal deficits, also set a record by generating 7,196 Twitter posts per second, the most for the 5-year-old social media network, it said in a post of its own.

The British Open, which was won yesterday by Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, drew a big-market rating of 2.6, airing from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. New York time, also on ESPN.

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