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WORLD CUP NOTES: TV RATINGS DOWN ON ABC, COVERAGE PANNED
Published June 16, 1998
ABC's coverage yesterday afternoon of the USA-Germany match earned a 4.4/12 overnight rating (THE DAILY). In St. Louis, Tom Wheatley calls ABC's coverage of the match "incompetent." Wheatley: "Brent Musberger anchored the studio coverage at his melodramatic worst." Noting Musberger's question, "Do we have a chance?," Wheatley wonders, "Why do U.S. broadcasters turn into jingoists when a U.S. national team is at play?" (POST-DISPATCH, 6/16). NUMBERS: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke shows that ABC's weekend overnight ratings are down from '94 and reports, "Soccer fever, as expected, has dwindled in the USA, with the World Cup being played in France." ABC's Belgium- Holland opening match on Saturday earned a 2.4 overnight, down 49% from '94's 4.7 opener. Sunday's Jamaica-Croatia overnight of a 2.6 was down 67% from '94's 7.8, a match that featured the U.S. team. For more ratings, see (#32).