The United States’ surprise run at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final drew 3.95 million viewers Sunday afternoon, marking the third-largest delivery for a U.S. national team match on ESPN.
Excluding World Cup matches, Brazil’s 3-2 victory over the U.S. soccer team was the most-watched FIFA game ever telecast on ESPN. Historically, the network’s biggest delivery for any U.S. Soccer contest came on June 21, 2002, a 1-0 World Cup quarter-final loss to Germany that was seen by 5.36 million viewers.
Per Nielsen, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. was the highest rated local market, drawing a 5.67. Las Vegas was second with a 4.28, edging New York (4.23).
The U.S. team’s spirited run should draw even casual fans to ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will air live from South Africa June 11-July 11. ESPN plans on devoting more than 65 hours of studio programming to the marquee event, including SportsCenter segments and daily, 30-minute editions of World Cup Live.
ESPN and ABC Sports will cover all 64 matches of the 2010 World Cup.