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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
World Cup scores with TV viewers
Brazilian forward Ronaldo at the World Cup
Brazil's first match was the most-watched game of the opening days
Global television audiences for the start of the World Cup were up 26% compared with the 2002 tournament, according to a report.

The most popular game of the first five days was Brazil's victory over Croatia, seen by an average 60 million people.

The research was carried out by media analysts Initiative in 23 countries.

They say more people are watching this time because matches are shown at more convenient times than the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

The research suggests evening matches have fared better with TV viewers than games shown in the afternoon.

After Brazil vs Croatia, the second most popular match was Italy vs Ghana, which attracted an average audience of 59 million.

Men watching the World Cup
The World Cup is attracting large audiences around the globe
Germany's match against Costa Rica had 50 million viewers, making it the third most-watched game of the tournament's opening days.

England's victory over Paraguay in their first match attracted an average international audience of 29 million.

The study also shows the World Cup is attracting large numbers of viewers in countries that do not have teams in the tournament.

In Hungary, whose team last qualified in 1986, an average of 13% of the population watched every match during the first five days of the competition.

That beats the UK, where the average is 9%, and France, with 8% - although both of these figures are higher than for the 2002 World Cup.

In the UK, England's opening match was seen by 8.8 million people - a smaller audience than tuned in to see Arsenal lose to Barcelona in the Uefa Champion's League final last month.

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