via ESPN press release:
U.S. – Mexico Sets ESPN2 Viewership Record for FIFA World Cup Qualifying
ESPN Deportes News and Information Coverage Delivers Record Audience
Last night’s 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between the United States Men’s National Soccer Team and Mexico’s National Team was seen in an average of 794,800 homes (1.2 million P2+) based on a 0.8 rating, making it the most-watched FIFA World Cup qualifier on ESPN2 (26 matches). The match, a 2-0 victory by the U.S. team that marked the third straight FIFA World Cup final round qualifying matchup in Columbus between the two CONCACAF powerhouse teams, was the first of 10 matches in the final round of the World Cup qualifying series for the CONCACAF region (commonly referred to as the ‘hexagonal’).
In the first meeting Feb. 28, 2001 – dubbed the “Guerra Fria” (‘Cold War’) because the game-time temperature topped out at 29 degrees – for the 2002 World Cup, the U.S. won 2-0. Four years later, Sept. 3, 2005, the U.S. team earned a place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with another 2-0 victory over Mexico.
Additionally, ESPN Deportes was the place for news and information surrounding last night's U.S.-Mexico FIFA World Cup qualifying match. Futbol Picante, the network’s Mexican soccer nightly news and information program, enjoyed its two most-watched telecasts ever. The 6 p.m. ET pre-game edition earned a 2.6 Hispanic rating, representing an average of 192,000 Hispanic viewers (P2+). The 9 p.m. edition immediately following the match earned a 2.9 Hispanic rating, representing 223,000 Hispanics viewers.