USA v. Belgium watched by 22 million in U.S.; bests World Series and NBA finals

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Reuters is reporting that more than 22 million Americans watched the United States’ 2-1 loss to Belgium in the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday.

That number is three million more than the 19 million Americans that tuned in to watch the Boston Red Sox win the World Series last October and four million more than the 18 million who watched the Spurs clinch the NBA title over the Miami Heat in Game 5 last June.

That 22 million was derived from 16.5 million viewers who watched ESPN’s broadcast, 1.1 million viewers who streamed on the WatchESPN app and 5.1 million who tuned in to Univision, the Spanish-language broadcast network.

Given that Nielsen TV ratings only measure U.S. households and thousands upon thousands of people jammed bars, restaurants and sports stadiums to view the contest, total viewership number is well beyond the 22 million mark.

Which is all to say the one thing that’s been preached in nearly ever soccer article you’ve read today: Soccer in America is a big deal.

But you already knew that.