World Cup final scores for ABC, Univision

The down-to-the-wire World Cup final was a hit on this side of the Atlantic too, with both ABC and Univision reporting strong viewership Sunday.

Almost 12 million people watched on ABC as Italy beat France in a 3 1/2-hour game that featured double overtime and a round of penalty kicks, according to preliminary data released late Monday by Nielsen Media Research. Final numbers won't be in until Thursday.

That's a huge win for ABC, which said it was the third-highest-rated men's soccer game and the third-most-watched since 1994. The record is still the 14.5 million viewers for Brazil's defeat of Italy in the 1994 World Cup. It beat the 2002 final handily; 3.9 million people tuned in to see Brazil beat Germany, 5-0.

Sunday's game averaged 5 million viewers for Univision. That's up 75 percent compared with the 2002 Brazil-Germany game. It's also up 16 percent compared with 1998's final, when France beat Brazil 3-0.

Univision and its sister network, Telefutura, got monster ratings for this year's World Cup and, through the semifinals, had outdelivered English-speaking coverage on ESPN and ABC. Univision's average viewership for the entire Cup was 2.3 million viewers, up 136 percent from 2002 and up 81 percent from 1998. It received similar bumps in every major demographic. Telefutura averaged 472,000 viewers for the games it aired, up 62 percent compared with the ones it televised in 2002.

And Univision said that 50 million people tuned in to some part of its coverage, including 29 million Hispanics and 21 million non-Hispanics.

ABC averaged 3.8 million viewers up to Sunday's game, compared to 1.7 million in 2002. ESPN's 20 games averaged 2.3 million viewers up 76 percent from the 1.3 million who tuned in in 2002.

Comments (3)
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Jun 20, 2007
what the hell is that supposed to mean?
Aug 01, 2006
Bend it like Beckham. :)

Glad the ratings did make it so that it more than likely will be aired again the US in four years.
Jul 12, 2006
People who call football, soccer, are bent.
People who watch Football or soccer are bent.
People who watch any sport are bent.