ESPN, Univision Score Record Live-Streaming with World Cup USA-Germany Match

ESPN said Thursday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup match between the U.S. and Germany yielded its highest-ever online viewership — with 3.2 million live unique viewers — even though the heavy demand blocked many from accessing the sports cabler’s live stream.

ESPN’s reported figure surpasses NBC Sports’ 2.1 million unique users for the USA-Canada men’s hockey semifinal during the 2014 Winter Olympics earlier this year, which would make the USA-Germany World Cup match the most-streamed sports event in the U.S. to date. WatchESPN requires users to log in to verify their pay-TV subscription, as did the NBC Olympics digital service.

Univision Communications, which holds the Spanish-language World Cup broadcast rights in the U.S., reported a record 1.7 million unique viewers for its Internet stream of the USA-Germany content, with a peak of 750,000 concurrent live viewers, on its unauthenticated service.

SEE ALSO: ESPN Live Stream Crashes During USA-Germany World Cup Match

In addition, Akamai Technologies, a major content-delivery network provider, said the Thursday soccer action marked a company record for live-streaming video. The USA-Germany and Ghana-Portugal matches combined to peak at 6.8 terabits per second of bandwidth consumed worldwide, the company said. The previous high-water mark was the June 17 match between Mexico and Brazil at 4.59 Tbps.

For ESPN, the USA-Germany match logged 143 million total live minutes viewed over the Internet with a peak of 1.7 million concurrent users during the game, for 1.05 million average minute audience. The online viewing, according to ESPN, provided a 10% lift to the TV audience, which averaged a 6.3 overnight household rating from roughly noon to 2 p.m. ET. The match’s noon Eastern start time during a weekday helped push up Internet viewing metrics; Sunday’s USA-Ghana game turned in ESPN’s best-ever ratings for a soccer telecast on TV.

Univision Digital registered 86 million minutes streamed for 605,000 viewers during an average minute for USA-Germany.

To date for the World Cup, the WatchESPN service is averaging 737,000 unique viewers and 31.1 million total minutes per match, according to the programmer. Through the first 48 matches, unique viewers are up 149% and total viewing minutes are up 143% versus 2010.

More Digital


    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content