The overnight rating from major markets of the World Cup opener was less than half of the overnight for the first game of the 2014 tournament, hurt by a much earlier kickoff and less glamorous teams.
Host Russia's 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia, which kicked off at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, got a 1.6 average in metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was down from a 3.4 for Brazil's 3-1 win over Croatia four years ago on ESPN, which started at 4 p.m. EDT. South Africa's 1-1 tie against Mexico in 2010 for a 2.3 for a 10 a.m. EDT kickoff.
The overnight rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a broadcast among television households in the 56 major metered U.S. markets.