By Paul Kennedy
The overnight rating for Sunday’s USA-Panama Gold Cup final on FOX was 1.7 — the highest overnight rating for a soccer match in 2013 on any network and FOX’s second-highest overnight rating ever for a soccer match. It was also higher than the ratings for weekend Major League Baseball games on FOX and ESPN (1.6).
The solid ratings reflected the growing interest in the U.S. national team among U.S. fans as it ran off 11 straight wins and played some of its best soccer in recent memory.
Overnight ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions tuned in in Nielsen’s survey of the top 56 U.S. metered markets.
Soccer ratings tend to fall as the final ratings account for all markets, taking in smaller, more rural markets where soccer is less popular.
The previous soccer highs for the year were a 1.6 for Mexico-USA (World Cup qualifying) in March and 1.5 for Brazil-Spain (Confederations Cup final) in June, both on ESPN.
Only the Canadian Open golf tournament with a 1.8 rating on CBS had a higher overnight this past weekend.
The only soccer game to have a higher overnight rating on FOX was the Barcelona-Manchester United UEFA Champions League final, which had a 1.8 rating in 2011.
FOX aired three matches at the Gold Cup. The USA-El Salvador quarterfinal drew a 1.2 overnight rating and the USA-Cuba group match earned a 0.7 overnight rating.
The overnight ratings for the three Gold Cup matches compare favorably to those of recent live soccer matches on FOX. The Bayern-Munich-Dortmund UEFA Champions League final drew a 1.0 overnight rating (0.9 final rating) and Wigan-Manchester City FA Cup final drew a 0.5 overnight rating.