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Mexico-Argentina Draws Huge Audience For Univision

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Univision on Sunday set an all-time ratings record with its broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup meeting between Mexico and Argentina, drawing 9.36 million viewers from 2:30 p.m. to approximately 5 p.m. EDT.

Per Nielsen, the 3-1 Argentina victory in the Round of 16 now stands as the single most-watched Spanish-language telecast in U.S. history.

Demos were predictably robust, as the match delivered 5.59 million adults 18-49, 4.19 million viewers 12-34 and 3.32 million viewers 18-34.

Through the first four Round of 16 matches, Univision has enjoyed steady traffic, drawing 4.51 million viewers with Saturday’s U.S.-Ghana battle, a game that now ranks as No. 10 all-time on the network’s list of soccer broadcasts. Sunday’s England-Germany row scared up 3.67 million viewers, while the early game on Saturday (Uruguay-South Korea) drew 2.57 million viewers.

Meanwhile, over on ABC, the Mexico-Argentina contest drew a 3.9 overnight rating, or around 6 million viewers. To date, that is ABC’s highest overnight for a 2010 World Cup match that did not involve Team USA.

Mexico had hoped to have its revenge against Argentina, which in 2006 ousted El Tri from the Round of 16 in extra time. Unfortunately for Mexico, two mental lapses––one by a referee who missed a clear offside infraction that should have disallowed Argentina’s first goal, and one by defender Ricardio Osorio that led to a second score––contributed to its early exit.

With two final Round of 16 games left to be played, there are three South American sides that have advanced to the quarterfinals (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay). Moreover, Paraguay is favored to beat Japan in Tuesday’s early match, which would bring the number to four.

Two European clubs have advanced in Germany and the Netherlands, and with Spain and Portugal going head-to-head in the final Round of 16 match, a third is guaranteed to advance to the next stage.

Ghana is the lone African nation remaining in the World Cup.