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FIFA Confederations Cup telecast ratings roundup and more

The preliminary overnight ratings are out for ESPN and Univision's family of networks telecasts of the FIFA Confederations Cup opening weekend. Also, ESPN's plans for programming, and Fox Soccer's current growth.

Michael Regan

It was a big weekend of soccer with ESPN and Univision both broadcasting three FIFA Confederations Cup match to go along with an MLS game of the week. Ratings aren't in for the MLS tilt, but we're already getting preliminary ratings for the Confederations Cup action.

ESPN managed an 0.6 rating for both the broadcast of Mexico vs. Italy on Sunday and the night cap of Spain toying with Uruguay. No word yet what the opener between Brazil and Japan drew on Saturday.

Mexico vs. Italy was also a big winner for Univision, drawing 3.1 million total viewers 2+. It was the most watched program in that time slot in Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Houston, and Phoenix. It was the highest rated Confederations Cup match on Univision since Mexico vs. Argentina in 2005. The United States being the CONCACAF participant in 2009 has a large deal to do with that factoid.

Looking at the social network data, the two matches Sunday on Univision networks were the second and third most talked about events on broadcast television, beating out Miss America and the US Open. The Mexico vs. Italy match on ESPN was the most talked about cable event. I'm not entirely sure how they break down the events by network, but it appears about 2.8 million social media posts on Sunday were about the Confederations Cup.

Other notes:

  • ESPN announced today that they'll be building two sets in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Rio's Clube dos Marinbas. It's a private sailing club, and more than 208 hours of original programming will be created from the two sets to be broadcast across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. The English language set will have a broadcast desk, a discussion set, and an interview area. There will be a daily World Cup Live show, SportsCenter segments, pre and post match coverage, and more.
  • Fox Soccer is currently leading cable networks in growth, with distribution rising 20.7% since the start of the year. It's sad in a way, since in a few months Fox Soccer will become FXX. Speed, which is set to be rebranded Fox Sports 1 and absorb the Fox Soccer people, is another fast growing net. Fox Soccer is currently in 51,064,000 homes. NBC Sports has about 26k more, and ESPN almost twice as many.