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USA - Portugal draws record ratings on ESPN

The Americans' second World Cup match bested ratings for the NBA Finals, the World Series and the Stanley Cup Final.

The U.S. national team's World Cup run has been an emotional roller coaster thus far, with a record number of American viewers along for the ride.

The USA's 2-2 draw with Portugal on Sunday was the most viewed soccer match ever in the United States. It averaged 18,220,000 viewers on ESPN and drew a 9.6 household rating. It averaged 24.7 million viewers when added to the 6.5 million who watched on Univision. The game surpassed the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC.

The rating was just ahead of the 9.3 average posted by the NBA Finals and ahead of the most recent World Series (8.9 average) and Stanley Cup Final (2.8). The match was most popular in Washington, D.C., with a 13.3 rating.

The USA's 2-1 win over Ghana last week posted a 7.0 rating on ESPN, setting a record at the time for men's soccer on ESPN.

Though it was within seconds of securing passage to the round of 16, the USA conceded a late equalizer against Portugal that leaves the Americans in limbo heading into their group stage finale against Germany on Thursday (12 p.m., ESPN). The USA will advance with a win or draw, and can possibly get through with a loss as well.

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