USA-Ghana Match Draws Highest U.S. Soccer Audience Ever

USA-Ghana Match Draws Highest U.S. Soccer Audience Ever

An estimated 19.4 million U.S. viewers watched USA’s loss to Ghana on Saturday, making it the most watched soccer game ever in the U.S., according to data from The Nielsen Company.

The record viewership, which includes audiences watching on ABC and Univision, surpassed the previous high of 18.1 million viewers who watched the 1994 World Cup final between Brazil and Italy.

Most Watched Soccer Games in the U.S.
Rank Date Game Network(s) Viewers
1 6/26/2010 USA-Ghana ABC/Univision 19.4 million
2 7/17/1994 Brazil-Italy ABC/Univision 18.1 million
3 7/10/1999 USA-China (women) ABC 18.0 million
4 6/12/2010 USA-England ABC/Univision 17.1 million
5 7/09/2006 Italy-France ABC/Univision 17.0 million
Source: The Nielsen Company

“This record viewership proves that soccer is as popular as it’s ever been in the United States,” said Stephen Master, VP of sports at The Nielsen Company. “Between the rise of social networking and virtually unlimited access to the sport no matter where it’s played in the world, this is the perfect environment for the game of soccer to thrive in the U.S.”

For greater context on the significance of 19.4 million viewers, viewership for other recent major sports events in the U.S. include:

  • 2009 World Series: 19.1 million (average per game)
  • 2010 NBA Finals: 18.1 million (average per game)
  • 2010 final round of the Masters: 16.7 million
  • 2010 Kentucky Derby: 16.5 million