West Palm Beach Has Thing for Women's Soccer? Number Three TV Market for World Cup Final

ESPN's broadcast of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the United States and Japan garnered the network's highest rating for a women's sporting event in its history, apparently with some saturated viewership out of West Palm Beach.

According to ESPN public relations guy Mac Nwulu, West Palm Beach had the third-highest rating of any national television market for the game at 11.7, behind only Baltimore (12.3) and San Diego (11.8).

Based on the most recent Nielsen ratings statistics, that would mean around 90,500 of West Palm's nearly 774,000 television sets were tuned in to the game.

West Palm Beach has just the 38th-largest television market in the country, although Miami-Fort Lauderdale -- the 16th largest -- didn't register in the top five markets.

Although ESPN broke its own record for viewership, it didn't even come close to ABC's broadcast of the 1999 Women's World Cup Final.

That game -- which featured Mia Hamm and shirtless Brandi Chastain and was played at the Rose Bowl -- had a rating of 11.4, according to Nielsen, compared to this year's 8.6 rating.

The U.S. women didn't win the championship this year, but the country did break other worthless records aside from ESPN's viewership.

According to Twitter, during the penalty kicks of last night's game, users were sending out 7,196 tweets per second -- thousands more than when news broke that Osama bin Laden died (5,106 per second).

Then again, Twitter usage is ever-increasing, since users send out 180 million more tweets per day than they did two years ago.

For those of you who watched the game, know that six of the 21 women on the World Cup team also play in our own neighborhood -- for magicJack at FAU's soccer stadium.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley