via press release:

ESPN Grows Audience for FIFA Women’s World Cup

USA – Brazil: Third Most-Viewed FIFA Women’s World Cup Match Ever

U.S. Ratings for 28 Matches on ESPN Networks up 150% vs. 2007 in China


The FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Brazil – a thrilling 2-2 tie, won by the USA in a penalty shootout in Dresden, Germany, on Sunday, July 10 – was seen by 3.89 million people according to the Nielsen Company, based on a 2.3 U.S. HH rating on ESPN (2.70 million household impressions), making it the third most-viewed Women’s World Cup match ever in the U.S.

Sunday’s quarterfinal also delivered ESPN’s largest audience for Women’s World Cup since 1999.  The previous audience high was USA vs. Colombia in a Women’s World Cup 2011 group stage match in Sinsheim on Saturday, July 2, seen by 1.87 million people, based on a 1.2 U.S. HH rating (1.38 million household impressions).

Top-five most-viewed FIFA Women’s World Cup matches:

Date Match Network U.S. HH RTG / HH IMPS / P2+
Saturday, July 10, 1999 USA vs. China – Title Match ABC 11.4 / 11,307,000 / 17,975,000
Sunday, July 4, 1999 Brazil vs. USA – Semifinal ESPN 2.9 / 2,879,000 / 4,924,000
Sunday, July 10, 2011 Brazil vs. USA – Quarterfinal ESPN 2.3 / 2,704,000 / 3,890,000
Thursday, July 1, 1999 USA vs. Germany – Quarterfinal ESPN 1.7 / 1,667,000 / 2,627,000
Saturday, July 16, 1999 USA vs. Denmark – Group Stage ABC 1.7 / 1,717,000 / 2,457,000


Washington, D.C., was the top market for Sunday’s U.S. Women’s National Team match, delivering a 4.4 HH rating.  Rounding out the top five were: San Diego (4.2), Baltimore (4.0), Cincinnati (3.8), and Albuquerque (3.8).

Through Sunday, July 10 (28 matches), the Women’s World Cup 2011 is averaging a 0.5 US rating on ESPN and ESPN2 – up 150% from 2007 (0.2) in China.  Household impressions are up 148% (from 249,000 to 617,000) and P2+ impressions are up 200% (from 268,000 to 804,000).

Through 28 matches, the top five local markets for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup are: Baltimore (1.1), Washington, D.C. (1.0), San Diego (1.0), Cincinnati (1.0) and Greensboro, N.C. (1.0).

In addition, delivered the most unique viewers ever for a women’s sporting event on the broadband sports network with USA vs. Brazil on Sunday, logging 220,000 unique viewers for nearly an hour of time spent watching the match per unique viewer.


FIFA Women’s World Cup Semifinals: U.S. vs. France and Japan vs. Sweden; Finals on Sunday
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany continues on ESPN and with two semifinal matches on Wednesday, July 13, with the No. 1-ranked USA vs. France at 11:30 a.m. ET, in Moenchengladbach, followed Japan vs. Sweden in the second match in Frankfurt at 2:15 p.m. France and Japan are both appearing in the World Cup semifinals for the first time.

The winners of Wednesday’s matches will play in the Women’s World Cup Finals in Frankfurt on Sunday, July 17, at 2 p.m.  The Third Place match will be played in Sinsheim on Saturday, July 16, at 11 a.m.  The schedule and commentators:

Date Time (ET) Network Match Site
Wed.,  July 13 11:30 a.m. ESPN/ France vs. USA

Ian Darke and Julie Foudy

  2:15 p.m. ESPN/ Japan vs. Sweden

Adrian Healey vs. Kate Markgraf

Sat., July 16 11 a.m. ESPN2/ 3rd Place

Healey and Markgraf

Sun., July 17 2 p.m. ESPN/ Finals

Darke and Foudy

Frankfurt Continues Extensive Coverage of Germany 2011, ESPN’s first dedicated content and digital hub designed to serve, inform and inspire female athletes and fans, will continue its Women’s World Cup coverage with stories, analysis and insight, leading up to the semifinal and final matches.  Highlights:

  • Writers Michelle Smith and Jacqueline Purdy will analyze the top five most important goals in US Women’s World Cup history
  • Video blogs from Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, both two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winners and former teammates on the U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Top storylines to watch for during the semifinals – USA vs. France and Sweden vs. Japan
  • An examination of why U.S. and France teams are the best conditioned in the Women’s World Cup
  • With most French players currently in the Women’s Professional Soccer league, playing alongside their club teammates from the United States, espnW reviews the connections, familiarity and friendships that could loom large in the semifinals.
Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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