June 21st, 2010
11:25 AM ET
Americans are having a love affair with soccer, and the ratings are up to prove it.
According to a report in Mediaweek, the first 14 matches of the World Cup as seen on ESPN and ABC have delivered an average of 3.35 million viewers, which is a 64 percent increase from the same period in 2006.
The USA-England match, which ended in a tie on June 12, drew 13 million viewers to ABC, making it the most-watched first round World Cup game in U.S. broadcast history.
Impressive numbers, especially since seemingly highly anticipated television events have seen a dip in ratings.
For example, only 13.5 million tuned in to watch the finale of “Lost,” which is the same number of viewers who watched the “Dancing with the Stars” finale (down from last season's 16.1 million). “American Idol” scored just over 24 million with their final season nine episode, making it the lowest rated finale since “Idol” began.
Yet those figures couldn't even touch the ratings of another beloved sporting event: Super Bowl XLIV had 106.5 million viewers tune in to watch the New Orleans’ Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts.
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