News

Belgium World Cup match draws more viewers than World Series

Belgium World Cup match draws more viewers than World Series

KNOCKOUT RATINGS: The number of people watching the U.S. and Belgium was likely much higher, given that scores of thousands jammed bars, restaurants and sports stadiums to view the contest. Nielsen, which provides TV ratings, measures only U.S. households. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – More people in the United States tuned in to the U.S.-Belgium World Cup soccer match on Tuesday than they did for the World Series of baseball – the top championship game for the sport also known as the national pastime.

Disney-owned ESPN said it was the second highest rated men’s soccer game, with about 16.5 million viewers, and that it bested its record for its streaming video app WatchESPN, with 1.1 million viewers.

Spanish-language broadcast network Univision said 5.1 million watched the U.S. play Belgium in the knockout match.

Belgium beat the U.S. 2-1 during extra time in the hard-fought contest, setting up the European team to go up against Argentina in the quarter-finals.

The number of people watching the U.S. and Belgium was likely much higher, given that scores of thousands jammed bars, restaurants and sports stadiums to view the contest. Nielsen, which provides TV ratings, measures only U.S. households.

The more than 22 million watching on Tuesday beat the number of viewers – some 19 million – who tuned in to see the Boston Red Sox win the World Series last year.

Still, soccer has a long way to go before it catches up in popularity with football. The National Football League’s annual Super Bowl drew in more than 111 million U.S. viewers this year.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Super Bowl: From humble beginnings to king of sports

12thma

From modest beginnings of cheap tickets and empty seats to $4.5 million for a 30-second TV ad, the Super Bowl is the undisputed king of U.S. sporting events.

in Sports

Feds seize $19.5M in counterfeit items ahead of Super Bowl

xlix

More than 325,000 counterfeit jerseys and Super Bowl-related merchandise were seized by the NFL and law enforcement.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

xlix

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP373144186169_15

A look at some of this week's biggest stories and the headlines you may have missed.

in Sports

This week’s best sports shots

A look back on some of the biggest moments and best photos in sports this week.