SBD/10/Events Attractions

WORLD CUP NOTES

          WILL U.S. WATCH? ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will present more
     than 230 hours of coverage during the 32-day event.  Every
     one of the 64 games will be seen live, with 14 on ABC, 27 on
     ESPN and 23 on ESPN2.  Matches will start at 8:00am ET, with
     the latest one starting at 2:30pm ET.  ESPN2 will also
     replay the "best match of the day" every night at 8:00pm ET
     (WASHINGTON POST, 6/10).  The Brazil-Scotland match kicks
     off ESPN's coverage today.  Univision will also carry 56
     games live and eight tape-delayed telecasts (L.A. TIMES,
     6/10).  In N.Y., Vivian Toy writes that despite every Cup
     match being carried on U.S. TV, Americans "are still only
     vaguely aware of the World Cup" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/10).  In San
     Antonio, Kevin O'Keeffe writes that the TV ratings will
     depend on the performance of Team USA, adding that there is
     "no substitute" for winning (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS,6/10).
          ANY U.S. BOUNCE? In L.A., Mike Penner writes his column
     under the header, "Soccer Can Make It In The U.S. As Soon As
     U.S. Can Make It In The World Cup."  Penner writes that the
     "biggest obstacle impeding soccer in this country, in 1998,
     in the World Cup.  Because we are non-factors in the biggest
     soccer tournament on the planet, again ... the World Cup is
     a non-factor in the Nielsen-and-sports-talk-radio ratings." 
     His solution: "Easy answer: Win the World Cup" (L.A. TIMES,
     6/10).  In Ft. Worth, Gil LeBreton writes that the Cup holds
     little interest in the U.S.: "To most Americans, soccer will
     never quite make it onto the big stage.  Over the next five
     weeks, we will read the datelines ... we will hear the
     players' names, and it'll all get lost in the translation.
     ... [T]he world's most popular sport may have already found
     its niche back here" (STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/10).  In S.F., Peter
     Fimrite writes that "predictions of a soccer boom have been
     made before, and as of now, the sport still plays fifth
     fiddle to baseball, football, basketball and hockey, at
     least when one considers" TV ratings (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/10). 
          NOTES: Nike Sports Marketing Manager Joaque Hidalgo, on
     Brazil's Ronaldo: "We know for fact that he is the most
     global of all athletes today, bar none" (ORANGE COUNTY
     REGISTER, 6/9)....New FIFA President Sepp Blatter, on the
     "nasty" campaign between he and European Soccer Union head
     Lennart Johansson: "There were one or two fouls, but no
     tackles from behind" (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 6/9). 

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