World Cup Ratings Better Than Anticipated

Associated Press

ABC averaged an A.C. Nielsen rating of 5.3 for its coverage of 11 World Cup soccer games, up 18% from predictions made by the tournament's U.S. organizer, Alan Rothenberg.

The World Cup final between Brazil and Italy on Sunday got a 9.5 national rating with a 24 share, the highest-rated soccer game ever on U.S. network television. The record coming into the World Cup was 6.6 for the Italy-West Germany final in 1982, but that was broken several times during this tournament, the first ever in the United States.

The rating is the percentage of television households in the nation, and the share is the percentage of homes with their TVs turned on. Each ratings point represents about 942,000 homes.

The rating for Brazil's penalty-kick victory narrowly topped the 9.3 rating for Brazil's 1-0 victory over the United States in the second round.

Before the tournament began, Rothenberg projected an average rating of 4.0-4.5. The 5.3 average translates to an average of 4,993,000 homes watching each game.

This was the first World Cup shown on network television in the United States since 1986.

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