ESPN announced that its coverage of the first game of the World Cup, featuring a 3-1 win by host country Brazil over Croatia, delivered the highest overnight rating on record for a World Cup opener, Deadline.com reports.
"The opener featuring the host team against a determined Croatia side yesterday averaged a 3.2 overnight rating in the metered markets, a 52% increase compared to the 2010 opening match, which drew a 2.1 rating and pitted host South Africa against Mexico," the story reports.
The piece notes that ESPN has been tracking metered markets for World Cup coverage since 1998. ESPN is carrying all of the games of this year's World Cup for the U.S. market, as is Spanish-language Univision.
ESPN had 4.4 million total viewers for the opening game, while Univision delivered 5.1 million, the story reports.
"Today’s coverage includes defending World Cup champ Spain against the Netherlands in a rematch of [the] last final and one of the best matchups of pool play," the report notes. "Also notable today is Mexico vs. Cameroon on ESPN2; it will be interesting to see how ESPN fares against Spanish-language Univision, which is also showing all games in the U.S.
The U.S. team opens play Monday against Ghana.