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Record-breaking US TV audience for soccer

Posted by David Beard, Globe Staff  June 28, 2010 09:33 AM

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Was anyone surprised?

With ESPN's marketing and an ABC audience -- along with Univision's Spanish-language pull -- the US-Ghana World Cup match attracted the biggest audience ever in the United States for men's soccer.

ESPN announced that the game Saturday afternoon drew 14.9 million viewers in English -- and Nielsen said another 4 million watched in Spanish.

Only the 1999 women's World Cup final between the Mia Hamm-led US team and China drew more viewers in English.

Only two men's soccer games drew higher ratings -- the 1994 World Cup match between US and Brazil, and that year's men's final between Brazil and Italy. Those games were held in the United States, which is bidding for the World Cup in 2018 and 2022. The 2014 games will be in Brazil.

ESPN said that overall ratings are nearly 50 percent higher for these games than the 2006 World Cup. The top market has consistently been San Diego.

It remains to be seen just how sharp a dropoff in viewership will be after the US loss to Ghana and elimination from the tournament.

Blogger Ryan Sholin suggests five easy ways to keep the spirit up for US soccer between World Cups. Here they are.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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