Disney Nets 45% Audience Advance With 2010 World Cup
Tourney On Pace To Supplant 1994 Event As Most-Watched In U.S. History
Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 7/10/2010 9:17:08 AM

With two matches to play, ESPN networks have scored a 45% audience advance with their coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup from South Africa.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average a 1.9 national rating, 36% higher than the 1.4 mark through the same stage of the 2006 tourney in Germany, according to Nielsen data. The average household audience grew 41% to 2.23 million from 1.58 million, while viewership expanded 45% to 2.98 million from 2.06 million.
ESPN officials said key male demos - ages 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 - were ahead 27%, 46% and 50%, respectively.
The top-rated markets through 62 games are Miami with a 3.8, New York and Washington, D.C. with a 3.4 apiece, San Diego at a 3.3 and San Francisco's 3.2 average.
The 2010 tournament is up over the 1994 World Cup, which was held in the U.S. and is on pace to be the most-watched FIFA World Cup in U.S. television history, according to ESPN officials.
The third-place match between Germany and Uruguay kicks off July 10 at 2:30 p.m. on ABC with Ian Darke and John Harkes on the call from Port Elizabeth.
Martin Tyler and Efan Ekoku will announce the final, pitting Spain against The Netherlands from Soccer City in Johannesburg, on ABC July 11 at 2:30 p.m.