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WORLD CUP NOTES: RATINGS DOWN FOR ESPN OPENER
Published June 15, 1998
ESPN's ratings for its opening day coverage of the World Cup were down 57% from '94, according to an AP report in the N.Y. TIMES. The Brazil-Scotland match earned a 0.8 cable rating, down from the '94 2.2 rating for the Germany- Bolivia match. Wednesday's second game, Morocco-Norway, also got a 0.8 rating. The AP reported, "Despite the low viewership, it was higher than ESPN's normal ratings." In the second quarter this year, ESPN averaged a 0.4 during the 11:00am ET slot and 0.2 during the 2:30pm ET time slot (N.Y. TIMES, 6/13). The U.S. plays its first match today against Germany, with the game televised live on ABC starting at 3:00pm ET. The U.S. team is the focus of USA TODAY's cover story and Christopher Winner writes that while a worldwide audience of 2 billion will watch today's game, the "soft weekday afternoon time slot is expected to draw a U.S. TV audience of just 3-4 million" (USA TODAY, 6/15). SOME HINTS OF HOOLIGANISM: Ticket problems and isolated fan violence continue in France. The front page of today's N.Y. POST reads: "Chaos At The World Cup" (6/15). In Marseille, about 80 English fans were arrested when they clashed with French police (USA TODAY, 6/15)....French and FIFA execs have launched investigations into the "widespread sale of phantom World Cup tickets" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/15).