Soccer’s popularity in the United States always has been questioned. After Sunday night’s 2014 FIFA World Cup game, however, the critics might be silenced for good.
Though the USA didn’t come away with a win over Portugal, fans still tuned in to enjoy the instant classic. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch provided the staggering viewership figures.
U.S.-Portugal drew 18.2 million viewers on ESPN & 6.5 million on @Univision. The combined 24.7M means most-watched U.S. soccer match ever.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) June 23, 2014
If that doesn’t silence the anti-soccer contingent in the U.S., another stat provided by Mr. Deitsch might.
U.S.-Portugal is ESPN’s most-viewed sporting event ever minus the NFL and college football telecasts.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) June 23, 2014
After seeing those figures, it’s hard to argue that soccer doesn’t have a foothold among fans in the U.S. With the Americans in a win, tie or possibly go home situation with Germany on Thursday, it wouldn’t be surprising if the USA-Portugal viewership number is topped.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@washingtonpost