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Tuesday (Another milestone for soccer) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Soccer Updated: June 17, 2014 - 9:40 AM

 

The comparison isn't perfectly fair. The NHL Finals, though exciting, were close to a foregone conclusion after three games. The NBA Finals, while compelling in their own way, were also a lopsided affair. And the U.S. Open? We can't remember being less interested in one.

 

U.S. vs. Ghana on Monday, meanwhile, had much going for it: four days of previous World Cup matches and many months of speculation leading up to it; a glorious time slot, at least for the Central and Eastern time zones (5 p.m. here, 6 there); and the spectacle of a once-every-four-years event.

It is still noteworthy, however, to look at the TV ratings as they relate to one another. The overnight rating for U.S. vs. Ghana, which was on ESPN and not over-the-air TV like Games 5 of the NBA and NHL Finals and the final day of the U.S. Open, was 7.0. That number by itself is more than double the U.S. Open's 3.3 number and nearly double the NHL Game 5's 3.7 number.

The NBA pulled a 10.3 for Game 5, better than soccer's number on ESPN. But that 7.0 figure for the World Cup does not count the numbers streaming online or watching on Univision in the U.S. If those viewers are factored in, we are fairly certain more people -- probably a lot more -- were watching U.S. vs. Ghana than Spurs vs. Heat.

[Update: A spokesman from ESPN Communications checked in with this: The overnight rating for Game 5 was an 11.7. So the natural comparison would be 11.7 vs. 7.0.  Also, ESPN3 streamed over 500k unique visitors for Game 5, plus a couple hundred thousand more on ESPN Deportes. So the multi-platform audience applies to both events. That's a fair point, and it should be noted that we were mearly guessing the ESPN/Univision/streaming numbers from USA/Ghana would top the NBA, though we don't have the full figures yet].

We offer these facts not as evidence that "soccer has arrived in the United States," since soccer has been alive and well here for quite some time. We are also not numb to the notion that the World Cup is a special event, much like the Olympics, and that we see such massive spikes in events like figure skating and swimming every four years before those sports go back to relative obscurity.

We just wanted to acknowledge that last Monday's match delivered a huge TV number and that those tuned in were rewarded.

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Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
UCF 57 FINAL
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
SMU 60 FINAL
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56

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