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July 6 (Reuters) - A record 20.3 million Americans watched on television as the United States beat Japan in the final of the Women's World Cup on Sunday, setting a new high for any soccer match televised in the nation, according to preliminary ratings data on Monday.
The match in Vancouver, which saw the U.S. women beat Japan 5-2, was broadcast live by Fox television, and was by far the most-watched TV broadcast of the night, Nielsen figures showed.
Fox said it became the most-watched soccer match in American TV history, beating the average 18.2 million strong audience that tuned in for the men's USA v. Portugal tie on cable channel ESPN at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Sunday's two-hour long telecast handily beat entertainment shows such as "Big Brother" on rival CBS and "Celebrity Family Feud" on ABC.
Fox's post-match live discussion drew a whopping 14.6 million people, according to Nielsen.
Fox is a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, ABC is a unit of the Walt Disney Co and CBS is a unit of CBS Corp.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Marguerita Choy