World Cup final sets TV viewership record in US

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2010 (AFP) - The World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands was the most-watched football game in US television history, drawing 24.3 million viewers, The Nielsen Co. said Monday.

The final on the ABC network and Spanish-language Univision outdrew the June 26 US-Ghana match, which attracted 19.4 million viewers, and the 18.1 million viewers for the 1994 Italy-Brazil World Cup final, Nielsen said.

The plane carrying the Dutch national football team escorted by an orange F16 fighter jet (C) fly towards Schipol airport, in Amsterdam, on July 12, 2010. AFP

The 1999 USA-China final of the women's World Cup drew 18 million viewers while the June 12 match between the United States and England, the opener for both teams at the 2010 World Cup, drew 17.1 million.

By comparison, February's Super Bowl, the championship in American football, between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts drew a record 106.5 million viewers in the United States, according to Nielsen.

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