Loss to Iran gets highest U.S. rating for '98 tourney

Iran’s 2-1 World Cup victory over the United States has failed to generate any sort of dramatic viewership surge in this country, but did manage the top U.S. rating of the international soccer tournament to date, according to Nielsen Media Research.

ABC’s Sunday broadcast of the Iranian victory earned a metered-market 4.8 rating, 12 share, beating the previous best domestic rating for this year’s World Cup, June 15’s 4.3/12 for a U.S. loss to Germany.

All numbers this year are down sharply from results in 1994, when the cup was contested in the United States and the home team fared much better than the U.S. squad of this tournament. The first and third U.S. matches in 1994 (vs. Switzerland and Romania), also broadcast nationally on ABC, earned metered-market averages of 5.8/18 and 7.8/20.

Saturday’s Netherlands-South Korea telecast on ABC settled for a metered-market 1.8/5.

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