The Germans may have bested Team USA in the World Cup group stage, but it turns out the real winner of Thursday's thrilling USA-Germany match is ESPN. Despite the noon Eastern start time, the match drew in enough viewers to score a 6.7 U.S. household rating -- the second-highest rating and third-most viewed ever for a men’s World Cup match on ESPN, according to the press release issued by the network.
Online, ESPN was even more popular. The release says 1.7 million concurrent viewers were logged on to WatchESPN. That's more than the number that signed in to watch the most recent Super Bowl, Forbes reports.
Read the full press release here.
The spike in viewership -- to which workplaces around the nation no doubt contributed -- was so great it crashed ESPN's streaming service during the first half of the match.
Spanish-language Univision, meanwhile, boasted to Techcrunch.com that their live stream "absolutely did not experience any outages” when a record 750,000 concurrent viewers were logged on to their free internet stream.
The World Cup has proved to be a ratings bonanza for the networks, thanks to both the tournament's Prime Time scheduling and American's soaring interest in soccer.
Sunday's 6 p.m. Eastern USA-Portugal match was seen by a record-breaking 18.2 million viewers making it the most-viewed soccer game in American history.