WC final had 13.5 million viewers in U.S.

Updated: July 18, 2011, 8:14 PM ET
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Conn. -- The Women's World Cup final has earned the highest television rating for any soccer game on an ESPN network.

Japan's comeback to beat the United States in a penalty shootout Sunday drew a 7.4 fast national rating. The previous high was a 4.0 for last year's U.S.-Algeria men's World Cup match.

With an average of almost 13.5 million viewers, it was the sixth most watched soccer telecast ever in the United States. The record is still held by the 1999 Women's World Cup final, which had an 11.4 rating.

Ratings measure the percentage of all households with televisions tuned into a program.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press