Kansas City tops national average for U.S.-Ghana World Cup viewership

06/17/2014 3:59 PM

06/17/2014 9:13 PM

Not everybody who watched the U.S. national team Monday in the World Cup attended a watch party.

Kansas City was the nation’s 16th-rated television market for the U.S. team’s 2-1 victory over Ghana in Brazil, according to ESPN, with a 7.4 rating.

The number was better than the national rating of 6.3. There were 11,093,000 viewers nationwide, making it the highest-rated and most viewed soccer match on ESPN, according to Nielsen.

By comparison, the fifth and deciding game of the NBA Finals on Sunday, when San Antonio closed out Miami, had an 8.2 rating on ABC in Kansas City, which made it the 47th market nationally.

The Royals’ series opener against the Tigers, which started an hour later than the World Cup game on Monday, pulled a 6.7 rating on Fox Sports Kansas City, and was the market’s highest rated program in prime time that day.

Monday marked the only time during the World Cup that soccer drew a higher rating than the Royals, who are averaging a 5.6 rating for the season.

Washington, D.C., led all markets for the World Cup opener with an 11.8 rating, followed by New York at 10.2.

Kansas City’s advantage: Two players who suit up for Sporting KC played key roles in the contest.

Defender Matt Belser, an Overland Park native, started and helped the U.S. pitch a first-half shutout before leaving the game at halftime because of a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Graham Zusi, who entered the game as a substitution in the second half, delivered the corner kick that John Brooks headed in for the game-winner.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

Top 16 TV markets for the U.S.-Ghana game

1. Washington, D.C.: 11.8

2. New York: 10.2

3. Hartford/New Haven, Conn.: 10.1

4. Boston: 10.0

5. Columbus, Ohio: 8.9

6. Baltimore: 8.7

7. Providence, R.I.: 8.4

8. Orlando, Fla.: 8.3

9. San Francisco: 8.0

10. Norfolk, Va.: 7.8

11. San Diego: 7.7

12. Atlanta: 7.6

13. Jacksonville, Fla.: 7.6

14. Richmond/Petersburg, Va.: 7.5

15. West Palm Beach, Fla.: 7.5

16. Kansas City: 7.4

Source: ESPN

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