US team play in World Cup draws big audience


Saturday’s USA-England game might have ended in a draw, but the soccer game scored a large audience in the US. According to The Nielsen Company, an estimated 14.5 million US viewers combined to watch the game on ABC (by ESPN) and Univision.

That was the highest average audience for a men’s national team soccer game since at least 15.8 million combined to watch USA and Brazil’s Round of 16 match in 1994.

The game was also the most watched first round game in the US, surpassing the USA-Romania match that drew at least 12.1 million in 1994.

“Thanks to social media and enhanced access to games and news from around the world, soccer fever has hit a critical mass in the United States,” said Stephen Master, vice president of sports at The Nielsen Company. “Saturday’s viewership numbers only validate soccer’s momentum across America.”

A further breakdown of the of the game’s audience reveals that 57% of total viewers fell in the 18-49 demographic. An estimated 65% of adults 18+ were male, while 35% were female. Teens accounted for almost 7% of the total audience.