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U.S.-Ghana World Cup Match Draws Record Viewership

Team USA Fans Celebrate Win Over Ghana
Terry Wyatt—Getty Images Soccer Fans celebrate the United States win over Ghana in the World Cup opener on June 16, 2014 in Nashville, United States.

The "beautiful game" seems to be gaining admirers in a country that has long been immune to its charms

Monday evening’s match between Team USA and Ghana — a rivalry game after Ghana bumped the Americans from Cup contention back in 2010 — was the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history.

A record-breaking 15.9 million viewers tuned into the game, exceeding the viewership of any other soccer telecast in U.S. history, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen. ESPN’s English language broadcast drew 11.1 million viewers and Univision’s Spanish language broadcast drew 4.8 million viewers. Both networks said the game broke records in American soccer viewership.

Then again, ESPN’s January broadcast of the college football championship drew a total of 25.6 million viewers, nearly 10 million more than the most watched soccer game in American television history. That suggests that while the “beautiful game” may be drawing admirers, America still remains committed to its bigger, rougher sister.

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