ESPN’s telecast of the United States men’s soccer team’s thrilling and heartbreaking 2-2 draw with Portugal on Sunday evening was the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history.
When combined with the number of viewers on Spanish-language Univision, the match’s audience rivaled that of the BCS title game between Auburn and Florida State this year.
According to ESPN, the match averaged 18,220,000 viewers based on a 9.6 rating, which “surpassed the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC.” According to Nielsen data, 6.5 million watched the game on Univision for a combined audience of 24.7 million viewers between ESPN/Univision.
To put that in perspective, this year’s BCS college football national title game between Auburn and Florida State drew 25.6 million viewers.
The United States next plays Germany on Thursday afternoon at 12 PM ET in the final game of group play.