No U.S., no problem: 26.5 million watch World Cup final

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The German team celebrates winning the World Cup. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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Alex Weprin

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The U.S. may not have made it beyond the first game of the World Cup's knockout round, but that did not stop American viewers from tuning in in droves Sunday afternoon to watch the final game of the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

Argentina took on Germany in the game, which the latter side won 1-0 in dramatic fashion in extra time.

All told, 26.5 million people watched the match Sunday via either ABC or Univision, making it the most-watched men's World Cup final ever.

ABC drew an average of 17.3 million viewers according to Nielsen Fast National ratings, the best numbers ever for a World Cup final, and the third best for any World Cup game. The two games that beat it were U.S.-Portugal from earlier in this year's tournament (18.2 million viewers), and the 1999 Women's final between the U.S. and China (17.9 million viewers).

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The 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands garnered 15.5 million viewers.

On Univision, 9.2 million people tuned in, making it the most-viewed Spanish-language World Cup final in U.S. history.

The 2010 final averaged 8.8 million viewers for Univision.