Spain and Italy are set to face each other in the UEFA Euro 2012 championship final on Sunday, with ESPN in the United States expecting to reap ratings gold.
As an indication, the 10 June 10 match between the two teams in the group stage came in as one of the top-rated soccer matches for the network of all time, drawing 2.11 million viewers. Meanwhile, Spain's win over Portugal in the semifinal drew 1.95 million, while Italy's win over Germany drew 1.85 million. To put it in perspective,both semis were presented during the workday, and were up 46% in viewership over 2008.
Sunday's final between Spain, the reigning champion and winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and Mario Balotelli-led Italy, promises to outstrip any of the other matches to date.The tourney in general has so far averaged 932,000 households and 1.2 million viewers for ESPN's English-language match presentations, which is up 60% over the 2008 event according to Nielsen.
When it comes to the Spanish-language presentation on ESPN Deportes, household viewership is up an impressive 176% compared to 2008, bringing in 380,000 Hispanic households on average per game. The most successful game was the Spain-Portugal semifinal, which brought in 414,000 Hispanic households and 650,000 viewers, making it the third- highest-rated telecast on ESPN Deportes in 2012.
Meanwhile, the network has made a big push for its WatchESPN app, with results: according to Adobe/Omniture, the semifinals captured an average of 575,700 unique viewers per match digitally, including viewing on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox. The semifinals logged the two most-watched matches of the tournament thus far, with Portugal-Spain garnering 598,000 unique viewers and Germany-Italy snagging 553,000 unique viewers.