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watchespn12Streaming live sporting events is becoming more popular than ever.

The opening match of the World Cup on Thursday attracted 1.1 million unique viewers on ESPN’s online streaming platform — the highest amount for any live WatchESPN event, second to the 2014 BCS Championship game. Thursday’s Brazil vs. Croatia tilt also drew in 4.4 million viewers on ESPN itself, 49 percent higher than 2010’s opener and the most ever for a World Cup opening match.

ESPN is streaming all 64 matches at and via the WatchESPN mobile apps (AndroidiOSWindows 8Kindle FireFire TV,ChromecastRokuXbox OneXbox 360). You’ll need a cable subscription that includes ESPN from one of these providers to access the ESPN feeds.

The WatchESPN record signifies a pattern of more and more people opting to stream live sporting events. The Super Bowl this year was most-watched live stream of a single sports event in history with an average of 528,000 viewers accessing FOX’s free stream of the game.

Editor’s note: Love soccer? Make sure to join the fun in the GeekWire World Cup Challenge.

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