Last time I did a ratings post, the United States national team was averaging less than 750,000 viewers over the age of two in friendlies and the LA Galaxy had only 96,000 viewers over the age of two tuning in to watch them get destroyed on NBC Sports. Things have improved since then.
USA-Panama on ESPN: 1.4M viewers. USA-Panama on UniMás: 1.2M viewers.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) June 12, 2013
1,400,000 viewers is almost double what the US did for the friendlies, and it's also encouraging that it did better on ESPN than on UniMas. 1,437,000 viewers over the age of 2 is the exact figure, which was good enough for a 0.8 rating in the key demo. It was good enough to be in the top then for the night and in the top five amongst new programing.
It's ESPN's second highest rating ever for FIFA World Cup Qualifying or an International Friendly. Mexico vs. USA from earlier in the year is number one, and beats out USA vs. Mexico in Columbus back in 2009. San Diego was the top market for the match cablecast last night, with Seattle right behind it.
The Mexico vs. Costa Rica tilt which preceded the US on UniMas averaged 2.8 million viewers. The US vs. Panama match not only averaged 1.2million viewers, but was the highest rated US qualifier on UniMas since USA vs. Mexico in 2009.