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D.C. was watching the U.S. win over Algeria

I wrote earlier in the week that D.C. was ranked second out of the 56 metered U.S. markets in ESPN/ABC World Cup ratings through Sunday's games. The combined ESPN/ABC ratings in this market were a 3.5, translating to about 81,000 households, not including the Spanish-language broadcasts. That was behind only Miami.

Well, the overnight numbers are in for the U.S. group-clinching win over Algeria, and it's more evidence that this is one of the nation's futboliest markets. The D.C. market was fourth among metered markets (with a 5.4 rating), while the Baltimore market was second (with a 6.4). Move United North!

(Just joking. Never do that. But keep inviting those nice Baltimore folks to come down and visit us.)

The overall number for all 56 metered markets was a 4.4, second only behind the U.S. quarterfinal with German in 2002 among ESPN/ESPN2 World Cup games.

For the third U.S. game in a row, San Diego led all metered markets, this time with an 8.9 rating. Another Pacific time zone city, San Francisco, was third.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 24, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  Soccer  
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Posted by: diego99999 | June 24, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Why are the Spanish language broadcasts not counted in the ratings or totals? They don't count? It's absurd. A reminder that bigotry is alive and well in the USA.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | June 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse


I have always wondered that myself. Saying 81,000 people are watching is deceiving. Not including Spanish speaking channels in the overall ratings of soccer broadcasts is skewing the real totals. Soccer on the Spanish speaking channels gets very solid ratings. The practice needs to be changed to show the true soccer viewership in this country.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | June 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Canadians exclude the French speaking channels from their hockey ratings. :) I have to agree. It is a very bogus practice.

Posted by: blackandred777 | June 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ratings dictate ad rates, and advertisers probably want to target a particular demographic. So the English and Spanish broadcasts are essentially different programs for those purposes. Or so the CHUDs would have you believe.

Posted by: foosball | June 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

So does this mean that soccer will get more respect on the Wash Post sport pages? I'm betting not very likely. I recently counted 4 pages of American football coverage (off season!) to 1 page of soccer, and the weekly TV guide often doesn't bother to include DC United in the list of home team games to be televised.

Posted by: nnelson1 | June 24, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I understand demographics but couldn't the channels be seperated for ad purposes and then combined for viewership totals. Of course they could.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | June 24, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I've got non-box comcast basic cable, but I have an HD tv that picks up the Spanish Speaking channels in HD while I can't find ESPN, or ESPN2 in HD... Guess what I've been watching. I watch the half time and pregames in English, but it goes to show that those numbers can't be completely accurate.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 24, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. team played a "German" in 2002? I hope there were more men on the field than that. In soccer, it's embarrasing to lose to an opponent that has only one man on the field.

Posted by: destewar | June 24, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

These numbers also don't reflect all the people who were watching online (like my whole office, as evidenced by the collective scream that erupted from the cubicles when USA scored).

Posted by: Incredulous2 | June 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Also underreported has been the degree to which Univision, across all of its news and sports broadcasts, has taken a very strong editorial line in favor of Team USA, absolutely urging viewers to support the USA through the tournament. The team has been dubbed "The Team for Everyone."

ESPN even surprised me here. I find it kind of funny that Mike Torrico looks like he would rather be in a tank of hissing cockroaches than covering this World Cup--and yet, there, in the Algeria match, I heard an Englishman, Ian Darke, absolutely delerious with joy that the USA had gone through.

We will look back and remember this team as the one that reminded us why it was worth believing in the beautiful game in this country.

Posted by: ouij | June 25, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

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