The United States may have lost 2-1 to Belgium, but a record number of people tuned in to watch it on ESPN. The cable network averaged a 9.6 overnight rating, making it the highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2 according to Nielsen. Coverage peaked between 5:45-6pm, the final minutes of regular time, with a 14.1 rating and WatchESPN had 1.5 million concurrent viewers.
This was a 5% increase over the US-Ghana octofinal match in 2010, the highest rated ESPN World Cup broadcast before this World Cup cycle. ESPN has had six matches this cycle beat that 2010 mark. If ABC is included, the US - Belgium match ranks just below the 1994 World Cup final and the US vs. Brasil octofinal match from that tournament.
Los Angeles was not in the top metered markets for US - Belgium, where New York lead the way with a 15 rating. Univision has not yet posted their overnight ratings for the World Cup match. That along with ESPN's fast national ratings will likely post this afternoon.