The 2014 FIFA World Cup is setting records for ESPN, which scored its highest-rated World Cup opener when 4.435 million viewers tuned into the Brazil-Croatia telecast on Thursday.
It marked the fourth-highest-rated match of all group play games dating back to 1994 for the network, and was ESPN’s best non-U.S. game. Brazil’s 3-1 victory also became the most-watched event on the digital platform WatchESPN, bringing in 1.1 million unique viewers.
Meanwhile, Univision Deportes — the Spanish-language network broadcasting matches in the U.S. — is outdelivering the venerable sports network’s coverage of the World Cup in a number of markets and outpacing its own coverage of the 2010 soccer tournament.
Through the first four matches, Univision Deportes is beating ESPN/ESPN2 by 34 percent among total viewers. The best-performing markets for the network during World Cup broadcasts so far have included Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. READ FULL STORY