[SOCCER ON THE AIR]Univision averaged 4.8 million viewers for its coverage of the USA-Ghana match on Monday, bringing the total audience for the World Cup thriller in Natal to 15.9 million.
ESPN averaged a record of almost 11.1 million for the Group G match won by the USA, 2-1. The total of 15.9 million viewers for the match was more than double the 6 million viewers for Friday's New York-Los Angeles game in the NHL's Stanley Cup finals and within two million of the 17.9 million viewers for Sunday's San Antonio-Miami game in the NBA finals.
What makes the numbers so remarkable is the high number of soccer fans who watched the USA game outside their household at watch parties at bars or restaurants or outdoor viewing events.
The USA-Ghana match pushed the average for the first 14 games of the World Cup on the Disney networks -- ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC -- to 4.1 million viewers, an increase of 23 percent over the 2010 World Cup. Univision's viewership is up 48 percent over 2010.