World Cup final scores massive ratings on ABC, Univision

About 30 million people in the U.S. watched the 2014 FIFA World Cup final on Sunday. Germany defeated Argentina. Here, German captain Philipp Lahm lifts the trophy after the match in Rio de Janeiro.
(Ballesteros / EPA)
Share via

Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. watched Sunday’s championship match of the FIFA World Cup, shattering the previous record for a men’s soccer final.

ABC’s television broadcast of the game -- which resulted in Germany’s 1-0 victory in extra time over Argentina -- attracted 17.3 million viewers. That set a viewership record for a men’s World Cup Final match in the U.S.

In addition, another 1.8 million viewers watched the game on ESPN’s streaming service called WatchESPN.


Univision’s Spanish-language broadcast of the Germany-Argentina game drew 9.2 million viewers, establishing a record for a Spanish-language broadcast of a men’s World Cup final in the U.S.

Another 450,000 people watched on Univision’s sports app.

The Spanish-language audience helped boost viewership of the championship game to record heights.

However, among English-language viewers, the USA-Portugal game from earlier in the tournament was slightly more popular. That contest attracted 18.2 million viewers to ESPN; and another 6.5 million people watched on Univision.

At one point in Sunday’s telecast, nearly 21 million viewers were tuned in to ABC to watch the popular event.

The top five TV markets were: Washington, D.C., San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla.

“The U.S. is becoming more interested in soccer,” Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes, said in an interview.


Univision sent 250 people to Brazil to cover the event, producing more than 575 hours of television coverage.

Univision said its overall viewership for this year’s World Cup was about 30% higher than during the 2010 tournament. Univision’s telecast of the Mexico-Netherlands game was its most popular event, scoring 10.4 million viewers.

Four years ago, Univision’s broadcast of the Spain-Netherlands match attracted 8.8 million viewers. Another 13 million watched on ABC, bringing the total audience in the U.S. to nearly 22 million people.