View Full Version : World Cup TV ratings

07-03-2006, 02:50 PM
Fellow World Cup fans, the Cup IS being seen and enjoyed in this country contrary to what you've been hearing from soccer hatahs. This article says the ratings are up and that ESPN had better improve their lame-o coverage because Univision is eating into their viewer pie. The only reason to watch ESPN is they are in HD.


For ABC/ESPN, a Big TV Audience Gained and Lost
Categories: announcers
As much as everyone makes fun of American TV coverage of the World Cup — including Budweiser ads in the U.K. — it is also true that the ratings for this World Cup are through the roof in the U.S., more than double those of 2002. That’s largely because most of the games in 2002 were on at 5 a.m. or similar ungodly hours, while this year they are on at much more civil times in the morning and afternoon. Still, the numbers are remarkable, for both English-language and Spanish-language telecasts.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday that Univision’s audience — 1,442,000 households — is up 133 percent from 2002. ABC has averaged 3,739,000 viewers for eight weekend games, up 103 percent from 2002. ESPN’s audience (1,370,000 households) is up 150 percent, and ESPN2’s (938,000 households), is up 66.7 percent.

The big jump in the Spanish-language ratings included the June 10 Mexico-Iran match, which was the No. 1 weekend daytime program among adults 18-34 for any network, Spanish or English. That figure was surpassed by the June 24 Mexico-Argentina game, with an audience of 6.7 million, making it the single largest sportscast among Hispanic viewers ever, including Super Bowls, and the fifth-most-watched Spanish-language telecast of any kind, ever.

On the English-language side, Crain’s Television Week reported on June 19, the U.S.-Czech game was the highest-rated telecast of any kind on ESPN2 so far this year.

But to get the full impact of the increase in viewership, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel noted, you have to add the ABC/ESPN rating to the Univision rating.

“If you take the rating for the U.S.-Italy match on ABC (4.4),” the Journal-Sentinel reported, “and combine it with the Univision rating for the match (1.7), you get a 6.1, which makes it the weekend’s most-watched daytime event, beating the U.S. Open golf tournament and the NASCAR auto race in Michigan.”

The big question is how many English-language viewers are watching Univision. A lot, if you go by the many comments on this blog from non-Spanish-speakers who say they’ve switched to the Spanish-language network from ABC and ESPN. But how many? Crain’s Television Week reports:

This season Univision has been measured as part of the Nielsen Television Index as well as the Nielsen Hispanic Television Index, providing a daily reminder that it draws more viewers than The WB and UPN and that its shows often beat the Big 4 networks in the 18-to-34 demographic.

And while there are yet no hard statistical evidence, there are anecdotal examples of English-speaking viewers opting to watch the Univision broadcast in bars, health clubs and offices.

Four years ago, about 15 million of the 35 million people who watched the World Cup on Univision were non-Spanish speakers, according to a Univision spokesperson.

That sort of research is not yet available for this year. But a spokesperson for the Univision station in New York said that the difference between the number of Univision viewers registered in Nielsen’s general market panel could be accounted for by non-Spanish speakers watching the game on Univision.

During the Poland-Germany game June 12, the Hispanic panel shows 135,000 viewers for WXTV in New York, while the general market panel gave the station 191,000 viewers — a 60,000-person difference.
If Univision’s estimates are correct, in 2002 about 43 percent of the viewers watching the World Cup on the network were primarily English-speakers. For the June 12 game between Poland and Germany (a match that presumably would not have had strong appeal for a Spanish-language audience), that figure was a lower 29 percent, though it was for New York only.

But even if those estimates are exaggerated, even if they’re twice as high as is really the case, that would mean that ABC/ESPN is losing 15 percent of its quite large World Cup audience to Univision. And that loss is due solely to those viewers being driven away by the big American network’s approach to televising the World Cup.

We’re no TV executives, but that cannot be good business.

07-03-2006, 02:59 PM
I like that funny looking irish analyst.

He called it when France beat Brazil.

07-03-2006, 05:34 PM
Do you even realize what those numbers equate to in Neilsen ratings? About a 2.1 or therebouts. That's cancellation type numbers for most shows. :shake:

07-03-2006, 05:34 PM
Watched almost every game so far.. We had them running on the plasma's at work...

07-03-2006, 06:45 PM
Doesn't mean I have to like it. Nascar and soccer are in the same boat as far as I am concerned... BORING!

07-03-2006, 06:52 PM
I guess if that one channel had a 133% percent increase from the 2002 ratings, that means 9 people watched this year instead of 4....

07-03-2006, 07:02 PM
I guess if that one channel had a 133% percent increase from the 2002 ratings, that means 9 people watched this year instead of 4....
yeah outta the 144,000 houses that had thier tv's on, only 9 people were watching. i think all 9 are posters on Chiefs planet too!.

I have tried to watch most games, but sometimes the times they come on dont allow me :(.

NJ Chief Fan
07-03-2006, 08:56 PM

while the boring espn/abc announcers just say goal, i havent watch a game on the spanish channel, every thing they say seems to be taco bell to me any way, but that irish guy for espn is good, the only one i enjot listening to

07-03-2006, 08:59 PM
part of the ratings jump might be attributed to increased interest.

But probably the bigger part of it is because we didn't have to watch the games on S. Korean time. Which is exactly what they said.