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Nielsen: Nearly 16 million watch Ghana-U.S.

NEW YORK – Nearly 16 million people in the United States watched the country’s World Cup opener on television.

The Nielsen company said 11.1 million people who saw the U.S. beat Ghana, 2-1, on ESPN represented that network’s biggest audience for a soccer match. Nielsen says an additional 4.8 million people watched the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision.

That’s down from the 17.3 million who saw the first U.S. match in the 2010 tournament, against England, which was shown on ABC and Univision. Four years ago 19.7 million people watched the U.S.-Ghana match, which ended the United States’s run in the tournament.

ESPN said an additional 469,000 watched a digital stream of this year’s match, a usage record for its WatchESPN app. Comparable Univision numbers were not immediately available.

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