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July 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ratings for ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup had been setting records, with 21.5 million viewers tuning in for the U.S.-Belgium match and 24.7 for the U.S.-Portugal match. But with America’s elimination from the international contest, ratings collapsed "like a writhing midfielder after slight contact with an opponent" to borrow a phrase from New York Daily News sportswriter Gersh Kuntzman. Friday’s Brazil-Columbia match attracted 11.84 million viewers, while the weekend’s quarterfinal games averaged around 10 million. That’s still better than anything that the broadcast networks offered in primetime over the holiday weekend. The most-watched show was Sunday’s 60 Minutes on CBS, which drew 8.45 million viewers. Every other show airing on the major broadcast networks between Friday and Sunday drew fewer than 6 million viewers.