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Whoa: Women’s World Cup Final Had Better TV Ratings Than 2010 World Series
Did you watch the U.S. women’s crushing loss to Japan in the Women’s World Cup final yesterday (which, flipping it around, was also a remarkable, inspiring triumph for the Japanese side)? You were far from alone. The numbers are in, and yesterday’s final did an 8.6 rating in the U.S. That’s a lot of households. It’s more households than, on average, watched the 2010 World Series. It’s way more households than were tuned in to the All-Star Game. Does it mean anything for the future of soccer in America – especially women’s soccer? That’s debatable – but it certainly means that at present, it’s a pretty huge deal.
Naturally, ESPN was quick to highlight these big ratings, and company rep Bill Hofheimer, in addition to calling the ratings performance “incredible,” shared a few details on the markets where the game performed best (fared well on each coast, it seems), as well as that it was the highest-rated Women’s World Cup game since the 1999 final (that game pulled an 11.4).
There’s a key difference, though: whereas this year’s Women’s World Cup aired on ESPN, 1999′s final was on ABC. As SI’s Richard Deitsch observed, had yesterday’s final aired on network TV rather than cable, it’s possible we might have seen a similar number. It’s like Dave Clark at Sounder at Heart said: this wasn’t some big watershed moment. It was a big moment, sure, but it’ll take many big moments for women’s soccer to consistently grow in popularity. But it still needs showcases like yesterday, and games like yesterday, to strengthen its place in viewers’ minds. And judging by the numbers, yesterday, women’s soccer took a positive step in the United States.
Photo via Getty (Thorsten Wagner)
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