Millions of viewers will watch the United States play Belgium on Tuesday, July 1, in the 2014 World Cup’s single-elimination Round of 16.
Led by coach Jürgen Klinsmann, the U.S. men’s national team advanced past the group stage via goal differential, despite a 1-0 loss to Germany in their most recent match. Meanwhile, Belgium breezed through Group H, allowing just one goal en route to three consecutive victories.
Tuesday’s match, which airs at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN, will likely draw a record audience. On June 26, the U.S.-Germany match logged nearly 11 million users, making it the third most-viewed men’s World Cup match in the network’s history.
WatchESPN, the network’s online live stream service, experienced unprecedented numbers. According to statistics released by ESPN, WatchESPN peaked at 1.7 million concurrent viewers and drew a total of 3.2 million live unique viewers, numbers which established the USA-Germany match as the most-watched event in the service’s history.
During the match, some WatchESPN users took to Twitter to discuss issues they experienced while attempting to connect to the live stream. At the time, ESPN acknowledged that it was “investigating some limited issues due to unprecedented demand.”
In a subsequent statement, ESPN addressed the troubles experienced by some online users. “WatchESPN set a record 1.7 million peak concurrent viewers. There were minor issues at the start of the match. The Internet has rarely been tested like this for a sporting event,” the network said.
A WatchESPN online stream of USA vs. Belgium is available to users who pay for cable and sign up for the it with their service provider information.
Given the volume of online traffic that Tuesday’s match will likely produce, it’s entirely possible that some users will have difficulty connecting to the WatchESPN live stream. Fans can also watch Univision’s free live stream of the action, which will be available on its website.
Here’s a full breakdown of when and where to watch the USA vs. Belgium World Cup match.
When: Tuesday, July 1 at 4 p.m. ET