When the US soccer team played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, American viewership averaged 6.6 million viewers per match. In 2010, American viewership of the US team has grown to 11.1 million viewers — surging 68% higher than the ’06 records. This info comes from Nielsen data via Multichannel who report the first US game (US vs. Germany) claimed a whopping 17.1 million viewers on ABC and Univision.
Other, weekday games averaged between 7.5 and 8.6 million viewers per match when they were broadcast on ESPN and Univision.
“These ratings demonstrate the remarkable increase of interest in U.S. soccer over the last four years,” said Stephen Master, VP of sports at Nielsen. “The numbers are even more impressive when you consider that two of these games were played on weekday mornings, when many viewers are at work.
The US will play Ghana today (June 26) at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC, as FIFA kicks off the Round of 16 matches with the top finishers from each of the eight groups. Earlier today, Uruguay will play South Korea at 9:30 a.m. ET on ESPN. On Sunday, England will play Germany at 9:30 a.m. ET on ESPN and Argentina will play Mexico at 2 p.m. on ABC.
The FIFA 2010 World Cup is being broadcast in high-definition (HD) in both 2D and 3D through participating providers.