Netherlands-Mexico Match Delivers Best Spanish-Language Audience In U.S. TV History
Univision averaged 10.4 million viewers for the Netherlands' win over Mexico in stoppage time during their FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match on Sunday, making it the most-viewed Spanish-language program in U.S. TV history. Netherlands-Mexico was 2% higher than the previous record, set in December '07 with an episode of the telenovela "Destilando Amor." Univision's previous high for a World Cup match was 9.4 million viewers for Argentina-Mexico during the Round of 16 in '10. ESPN drew another 6.57 million viewers for Netherlands-Mexico, which marked the net’s best audience on record for a World Cup match not involving the U.S. team. ESPN’s 6.39 million viewers for Costa Rica-Greece in the 4:00-7:00pm ET window on Sunday also ranked as the net’s second-best audience for a non-U.S. World Cup match. Univision added 4.4 million viewers for Costa Rica’s win in penalty kicks (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). SI.com’s Richard Deitsch noted Univision during the Netherlands-Mexico match “had more than twice the audience" of ESPN in L.A., Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and Houston (SI.com, 6/30).
I BELIEVE THAT WE...: In Boston, Gerry Callahan writes “there is something smug and pretentious about the whole ESPN operation” from Brazil. Studio host Bob Ley “calls it ‘football’ for crying out loud, although he probably spells it ‘futbol’ in his mind.” ESPN wants “so badly for the U.S. to be good at this sport that they have, through their coverage, tried to make it so” (BOSTON HERALD, 7/1).