Everyone knew that the final of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup was going to do solid ratings in the United States after the United States' dramatic run, but even the most optimistic of footy fans and ESPN executives probably didn't think it was going to do this well. Per ESPN Public Relations guy Bill Hofheimer, the broadcast of USA vs. Japan averaged an 8.6 rating.
This is slightly smaller than the 13.3 rating that the 1999 final did on ABC, but that match was on network television instead of cable. Additionally, due to the World Cup taking place in the United States, there was much more hype surrounding the team before the final. By all accounts, the ratings also dwarfed those of the final round of the British Open, which was broadcast on the same day by ESPN.