USA-Ghana most-watched World Cup match

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photo by Douglas Zimmerman/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

If TV ratings are any indication of the interest in soccer in the United States, then the sport is clearly continuing its ascent.

The U.S. men's national team's 2-1 loss to Ghana on Saturday was the most-watched World Cup match among households and viewers, according to ESPN. 

The two-and-a-half-hour match window averaged an 8.2 rating, 9,455,000 households and 14,863,000 viewers based on fast nationals.

The match ranks as the most-watched Men's World Cup game ever, with the 1999 Women's Final between the United States and China being the only soccer match to average more households and viewers. Those numbers are 11,307,000 and 17,975,000, respectively.

The United States-Ghana game also showed an 11% increase in ratings and 13% in viewership from the much-anticipated United States-England Group C opener one June 12.

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What do you think of USA-Ghana being the most-watched match of the World Cup? Feel the United States' performance at the World Cup will help propel soccer to the next level in this country? 

Share your thoughts below.

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44 Responses to USA-Ghana most-watched World Cup match

  1. Sammy Gupta says:

    Do these figures include the hoards of people who watched in bars etc?

  2. brad says:

    I wonder what Univision’s rating was. I believe that just as many people watched the game in Spanish as in English.

  3. jjraines says:

    I don’t think those numbers do any where near justice for the American audience. Not even close. In real numbers I don’t 40 million is out of question.

  4. Barry U says:

    Wow! To bad run is over.

  5. Andy from Los Angeles says:

    I DONT CARE ABOUT THE RATINGS!

    I’m sick and tired of all this talk about the future of soccer in the United States and the growing popularity. Catering to casual fans is what killed the NBA for me.

  6. DC Josh says:

    The fire marshall showed up at Molly Malone’s, and I’m sure every other bar was packed. I didn’t watch any US games in 2006 at bars, but it seems this world cup helped unveil the new trend of packing bars to watch these games.

  7. DC Josh says:

    The importance is the more attention it gets, more money will flow through soccer at all levels, more kids will choose soccer over other sports, etc. It’s very important that soccer becomes popular. It’s the only reason we are so far behind other countries.

  8. Michael says:

    The future is now!! rating are important, but ultimately its results that count. if we would have won, then the q’final would’ve been the most watched, and so on. for soccer to be well known in usa, we need the MLS honchos to start spending money on top players. the national team is very good, we just have to improve the league

  9. Gerald says:

    There were some packed bars in 2006 as well from my experience in NY

  10. Mason says:

    Pour House was packed. There were a lot of people at Eastern Market Metro when the game ended. Morose people.

  11. Brent McD. says:

    San Diego = soccer city USA. move Chivas down here from (Hel)l.a. and re-brand

    “San Diego was the top market for yesterday’s Team USA game, delivering a 15.4 rating. San Diego was also the top market for all three previous U.S. matches.”

  12. Manny F says:

    God, I really hate the English commentating on ESPN. It sounds sooooooo dry, I feel like I’m watching baseball. I will forever enjoy the passion with which the game is called in Spanish.

  13. Mike says:

    Agreed. ESPN thought they were doing us a favor with these boring Brits?

    We pumped up 93.1 FM NY. Awesome Spanish announcers!

  14. LittleMaradona says:

    I like the idea but I think you need to ask Chivas de Guadalajara first.

  15. ShaggyReAL says:

    Spanish announcers are terrible, you can’t understand a word they are saying. Learn English.

  16. ShaggyReAL says:

    please. Thanks.

    have a nice day.

  17. jogofotoboto says:

    i just don’t want to hear all those terrible columnists who come out now and say, “yeah but who cares, we lost”

    can’t stand those a-holes

  18. Jim in Atlanta says:

    Ives, Franco.

    I would love to read an article about your thoughts on the future of the USMNT from players, coaches and any other important topics you’ll like to discuss.

  19. jjraines says:

    That’s the sad truth, is that listening even in a language you don’t understand can be more exciting than the English broadcast…I agree with the others that going all-Brit was a bad move.

  20. RedStateJim says:

    Agreed!

    Who are the 23 going to Brazil!

    We had a good run, but the world cup is over for US so we need to look forward.

    Who can play defense for us, we need a solid back 4 in four years.

    Davies
    Altidore
    Donavan?
    MBradley
    CDempsey?
    Edu?
    Howard / Guzan

    Who we got???

  21. Never First says:

    This is just anecdotal, but almost everyone I know that doesn’t follow soccer but watched a bit of this World Cup came away saying their feelings haven’t changed. For all the thrilling finishes, players flopping and horrible officiating won’t win over any new fans. This was a step in the right direction but probably a very small step.

  22. Katatonia says:

    its no secret the united states is home to tons of unsophisticated retards who need thier commentators to double as cheerleaders.

  23. Duck says:

    I live in Pasadena and I like that idea. Better to spread the passion around. I have heard that SD isn’t a very good sports city, though. Weren’t the Chargers one of the few NFL teams that didn’t sell out last season? And they actually had a good team.

  24. Andy from Los Angeles says:

    Yeah I think the ending of the Ghana game, what with all the fake injuries and time-wasting by Ghana killed any casual American fan’s interest in the sport.

    It’s so frustrating bc diving and fake injuries can so easily be eliminated from the game if Fifa would just finally take some simple action.

  25. Aquaman says:

    I don’t like that people are already saying that this was the US’s best (read ONLY) chance. I’m not saying you are doing this, but this seemed the appropriate place to also address the Chicken Little mentality that is prevaling after a loss. All the articles I have read only address who will be too old for the next world cup, completely neglecting the fact that there could be some 16 year old who turns it on in time for the next cycle (like Jozy did). There’s Omar Gonzalez, Ike Opara, Gale, Jack Mac, Brek Shea, Chris Pontius, possibly Luis Gil, Stefan Jerome, Joseph Gyau, Lletget as well as the young guys who made it on the team this world cup cycle. The US will be back, we have 4 years to see who separates themselves from the rest.

  26. Spacemonkey says:

    Got a lot of “sissies!” from everyone I spoke to that wasn’t familiar with the game. Myself included, and I grew up playing the game and have been coaching it for years. To be honest, I cannot remember (while growing up) when it was ever acceptable to drop to the ground screaming in agony, hoping for a card for the innocent victim. Not only is that shameful dishonesty, it’s embarrassing for other grown men to have to sit and watch other grown men clutching their shins (which happen to be adequately protected, thank you very much) like they’ve been popped with a .45.

    When I played, I did everything possible to hide injury, both to keep the opponent guessing and to produce an image of invincibility. Let’s face it, can you picture Oliver Kahn rolling around clutching his (select random appendage) crying like a baby when it is patently clear he’s making it all up? NOT ON YOUR FREAKING LIFE, MAN! The dude was insane in the membrane, but also tough as nails.

    The sissy factor must be removed from the game. One simple rule is that if you drop to the ground and are unable to rise on your own within a certain amount of time – say THREE $#@%ing SECONDS – then you have to leave the pitch and cannot return for the rest of the half. Only a substitution is allowed to come in, and that counts for your 3 available subs per match. With that in place, the only time you’re going down is when you’re really injured, or really stupid, or maybe both. :-)

    Referees – well, they are human and make mistakes. Expecting perfection out of human beings is a fool’s errand, and really the best anyone can hope for is an additional guy behind a bunch of screens somewhere with a radio to the field that can say “dude, that ball was IN!” and so on. Any proposed ideas that break up the flow of the game are absolutely doomed for failure.

    That said I really think the sissy moves are the biggest issue, human (imperfect) referees are in every game on the planet and are a necessary evil, if you will. But the totally dishonest and embarrassing sissy moves gotta stop.

  27. Aquaman says:

    I don’t want to overstate this for fear of being labelled a homer, but you don’t really see this with American players. I mean, Donovan, etc. will drag their feet to draw fouls, but won’t lay on the ground until the stretcher comes on. Dempsey will get punched in the face and keep playing. McBride will go back out on the field looking like half a mummy and keep taking headers. DeMerit I believe was bleeding in his mouth during the last game (and if I was growing up right now he’d be the type of tough SOB that I would want to emulate). I know growing up playing you don’t do this sort of thing. I would only go down after I got one of those knee-to-knee shots. It’s amazing that as these players grow older, they grow more childish, relying on play-acting instead of skill.

  28. The Hammer says:

    The point of the RATINGS is to show that alot kids out there who are dreaming of what they want to be watched the USMNT. So now they may dream of being a soccer star for the USA instead of an NBA thug. Really the best thing to do is talk about the future after a tournament is over. Sure there are lessons learned from this but we wont learn them unless we apply them in the FUTURE!

  29. RLW2020 says:

    i agree with your 3 second rule. too many games have been tainted by flopping around wasting time. I always respond to non-soccer people that this is a non-American trait, and that soccer in the states does not endorse that kind of behavior. If Slovania or Ghana was playing basketball I would not be surprised to see just as much flopping and time wasting.

  30. g? says:

    I imagine once you rise up to the higher ranks, separating yourself from the pack gets more and more difficult, so drawing that game-winning PK with a dive becomes your ticket to the top…

    Also as a reminder, there are countries where diving is seen as part of the game, if you dont dive, you arent helping your team as much as you can, not everyone is like the US in that regard. (Though Jozy seemed to go down easy once or twice)

  31. tim says:

    i defended the US team also. flopping is definitely not an american trait. If they ever start I will be really disappointed.
    really, in my playing days I broke a bone in my foot and kept on in pain and never rolled around on the ground looking for a foul. It took 20 minutes before I came off.

  32. bayonetbrant says:

    “I agree with the others that going all-Brit was a bad move.”

    Yeah, I know – that “Harkes” guy they paired with Ian Darke had such a dreadful accent I couldn’t understand a word! And that Ekoku guy sounds just like Tony Blair!

  33. Scott A says:

    Yes yes yes to all of these posts

  34. Scoobert says:

    A lot of people who didn’t watch the Algeria game saw the youtube reaction videos, and all the hoopla, and they wanted to join the bandwagon.

    Too bad the Ghana game was everything Americans hate about soccer, wrapped up in a nice stinky package.

  35. DrewDean says:

    Idk all NBA players were thugs….

    When more money goes to soccer and we see more people in that sport, its sure to increase the number of “thug” players, just like every other sport.

  36. Jank says:

    Ian Darke was fantastic and even though I really enjoy the passion in the voice of the spanish announcers, I’d rather understand what they are saying and what might be going on with the game.
    the British announcers are good

  37. Dave in Chicago says:

    Weird, I actually converted at least 3 people to start watching the game. It’s been a work in progress over the last few years but I actually had friends and family who never watched a match before sitting next to me at a bar, getting excited about a game, asking me questions about rules and strategy. It was nice to finally be able to share my passion for the game with some new fans.

    I actually converted my girlfriend about 3 years ago, though i think she knew if she didn’t start enjoying soccer, we weren’t going to last long.

  38. Ale says:

    Most of the bars at cal were packed to… just not so much happiness when they lost, same thing for south korea haha.

  39. Rick says:

    Maybe this WC will help convert some of those idiot American’s who support other countries (like England) despite being born and raised in the US. I like the EPL, but I am not English. It is lame to support another country.

  40. Mike in Long Island says:

    It’s a shame that most non-football fans got to watch a pretty boring game with Ghana flopping all over the place… adding to everyone’s perception of why soccer is boring and un-american

  41. EA says:

    These are lies!!!!!! It IS the end of the world!

    Freddy Adu wasn’t even on the roster!!!111!eleventy

    And looked what happened. We lost!

    All of these players should never wear the US shirt again, they’re all garbage!!!!

    Does that cover it all?

  42. jb says:

    I will disagree slightly on this. You and I certainly didnt enjoy the result of the game or our performance in the first half, or particularly the ridiculous time-wasting by Ghana in extra time. But the drama was there, we played excellent in the first part of the second half and after the pk looked poised to score again. Here are my points. I had one friend with little soccer background who (while glued to the game) commented on the play of Ghana’s defense and their resiliency in the second half when we were dominating play. And my own Dad, who has little knowledge of the game besides watching the games I played as a kid, commented on how outstanding Ghana played in the first half. I dont think I would have seen them pay enough attention in the past to pick up on these things.

  43. Mike in Long Island says:

    Thanks… makes me feel better… I guess I’ve underestimated the american sports fan…

  44. buffalo bill says:

    I hoard people.