With the US out, did the World Cup stumble?

After scoring the second most-viewed men’s soccer match in the US of all time with the US/Belgium match at the World Cup (averaging 16,491,000 viewers and 9.8 household Nielsen rating last week), ESPN followed that up with rousing Quarterfinals over the weekend. The Netherlands/Costa Rica game became the second most-watched FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The matchup was seen by an average audience of 5,791,000 viewers based on a 3.4 fast national rating, according to Nielsen. That trails only Friday’s Brazil/Colombia game which was seen by 6,349,000 viewers based on a 3.6 fast national rating. Through 60 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are averaging 4,190,000 viewers based on a 2.6 US household rating per match to mark spikes of 42% and 114% over 2010 and 2006 respectively in viewers. The highest-rated markets for World Cup matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC: Washington DC (4.6), New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Los Angeles (3.7) and San Diego (3.7), Hartford/New Haven (3.6), Orlando (3.5), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (3.5), Richmond (3.4) and West Palm Beach (3.3).

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