Ratings Roundup: U.S. Victory Scores 12-Year High for Women’s World Cup

Sunday’s Women’s World Cup quarterfinal matchup between the U.S. and Brazil captured the nation’s attention with an exhilarating finish, leading ESPN to the third-best U.S. overnight rating in women’s soccer history. The 2.6 overnight nearly double the previous highest-rated match in this tournament, a 1.4 for the U.S. Colombia game on July 2. The match also logged the best rating for a women’s soccer game on ESPN since 1999 (U.S.-Brazil semifinal: 3.2), but still trailed well behind the record 13.3 rating for the 1999 World Cup final – the most-watched game in U.S. women’s soccer history…

..Speaking of the World Cup, the final ratings for last year’s men’s competition are in – and they are huge. According to FIFA, the 2010 World Cup final was probably seen by at least 1 billion people. FIFA says 909.6 million television viewers watched at least one minute of the Spain-Netherlands final at home, and the total likely topped a billion when adding online and public places. That marks the largest audience ever for a World Cup Match, though the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony appears to retain top spot as the most-watched televised event. FIFA’s research says 619.7 million people watched 20 consecutive minutes of Spain’s 1-0 extra-time win. The “average in-home global audience” was 530.9 million for the final on July 11, 2010, at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium (compared to 593 million for the Beijing Olympics opening)…

…In all, the 2010 World Cup — 64 matches played by 32 countries over one month — was broadcast in every territory in the world. More than 3.2 billion people, or 46.4 percent of the population, watched live coverage for a minimum of one minute. The average official rating was 188.4 million for each match…

…Sunday’s IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto was Versus’ highest rated NHL telecast ever in metered markets. The Honda Indy Toronto earned a 0.41 overnight rating, the network’s highest overnight ever for an IndyCar telecast. Last year’s edition of the race earned a 1.0 overnight on broadcast network ABC. Versus is in its third season televising IndyCar races…

…Through the first half of the MLB season, Phillies telecasts have averaged an 8.8 rating on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, up 22% from last year (7.2).