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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Ken Schott blogs about college hockey & more

ESPN gets 9.8 rating for U.S-Belgium World Cup match

ESPN's telecast of the U.S. soccer team's 2-1 World Cup second-round loss to Beglium in extra time on Tuesday averaged a 9.8 rating and 16,491,000 viewers, the network said Wednesday.

It's the second most-viewed men's soccer match in the U.S. ever, across all networks, behind the 18,220,000 viewers and 9.6 rating ESPN earned for USA vs. Portugal on June 22.

In addition, WatchESPN delivered a platform record average minute audience of 1,107,000 viewers, providing a seven percent lift to ESPN's television viewership. The previous record was set for USA vs. Germany on June 26.

WatchESPN also averaged 3,500,000 unique viewers and 190,200,000 minutes viewed during the match, both records for the platform.

New York led all markets for Tuesday's match with a 15.0 rating, followed by Hartford/New Haven (13.2), Washington (12.8), Richmond (12.3), Boston (12.2), West Palm Beach (12.0), Baltimore (11.4), Cincinnati (11.4), San Diego (11.0), Columbus (10.8), Norfolk (10.8) and Orlando (10.8).

Twenty markets recorded their highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2 ever, including six that were among the top seven largest for the telecast: New York, Hartford/New Haven, Richmond, Boston, West Palm Beach and Baltimore. The additional 14, ordered by highest rating: Norfolk (10.8), Kansas City (10.6), Philadelphia (9.6), Raleigh/Durham (9.4), Greensboro (9.2), Tampa/St. Petersburg (9.0), Greenville (8.9), Pittsburgh (8.7), New Orleans (8.7), Birmingham (8.5), Jacksonville (8.5), Detroit (8.3), Buffalo (7.8) and Oklahoma City (6.6).

Overall, Washington continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 56 games with a 4.5 average rating, followed by New York (4.2), San Francisco (3.9), Los Angeles (3.6), San Diego (3.5), Orlando (3.5), Hartford/New Haven (3.5), Miami/Fort Lauderdale (3.4), West Palm Beach (3.4), Richmond (3.3) and Boston (3.3).

Announcing assignments
Here are the announcing assignments for the quarterfinal matches.

Friday: 11:30 a.m. France vs. Germany. ESPN2: Jon Champion and Stewart Robson. ESPN Radio: Ross Dyer and Shep Messing; 3:30 p.m. Brazil vs. Colombia. ESPN: Ian Darke and Steve McManaman. ESPN Radio: Mark Donaldson and Tommy Smyth.

Saturday: 11:30 a.m. Argentina vs. Belgium. ABC: Derek Rae and Kasey Keller. ESPN Radio: Dyer and Messing; 3:30 p.m. Netherlands vs. Costa Rica. ESPN: Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno. ESPN Radio: JP Dellacamera and Smyth.

Follow @slapschotts on Twitter. Follow @dgazettesports on Twitter.

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