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Copa America U.S.-Argentina match draws over 8 million viewers

The Copa America Centenario match between the U.S. and Argentina drew more than 8 million viewers to the Univision and Fox networks Tuesday.

Univision’s coverage averaged 4.8 million viewers, the Spanish-language network said, bringing its total Centenario audience to 44.4 million viewers. That figure does not include Wednesday’s second semifinal between Chile and Colombia.

The U.S.-Argentina game, won by Argentina 4-0, was watched by 3.29 million viewers on Fox cable outlet FS1, making it the most-viewed English-language cable program in prime time Tuesday and the most-watched men’s soccer match in FS1 history.

The tournament’s live gate has been even more impressive. Tuesday’s crowd of 70,858 in Houston – a record for a soccer match at NRG Stadium – swelled the tournament’s overall attendance to 1.32 million through 29 of the 32 games, breaking the Copa America record set in 1979, when just 25 games were played.

The average attendance in 1979 was 45,760 and that’s a record this year’s 100th-anniversary event could break as well since the Centenario is averaging 45,517 a game with three matches, including the final, left.

Before the 23-day tournament began U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, whose organization is acting as the local organizing committee for the event, said an average crowd of 35,000 would exceed expectations and more than 40,000 “would be a home run.”

“Obviously, it’s a great crowd,” he said after Tuesday’s sellout, the fourth Centenario crowd of more than 70,000 and the eighth more than 59,000. “That’s true of the entire tournament. “

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Twitter: @kbaxter11 

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