ESPN and Univision have been touting the viewership for this year’s World Cup. According to ESPN and Univision, a combined 24.7 million watched USA-Portugal on June 22. Another 14.2 million watched USA-Germany on June 26.

The viewership measured is in-home viewing, but what about those viewing parties in New York, Chicago and Kansas City which have large groups of fans watching? Can those numbers be added to the viewership? Soccer fans would love to have those viewers counted to prove that the game is resonating across the country. And in Chicago, Soldier Field will be utilized for yet another viewing party for the USA-Belgium game.

Nielsen can measure out-of-home viewing and has developed the technology to do so, but apparently advertisers would rather have the ratings service just monitor what viewers watch at home. So you can forget about having those large viewing parties added to the viewership numbers.

Soccer fans will have to console themselves that this year’s World Cup is being followed in the United States more than in past years.

If advertisers decide that viewers in bars and large gatherings are desirable targets, then you’ll begin to see Nielsen measure out-of-home viewing, but in the meantime, the viewership numbers which are conservative to begin with will have to do for now.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.