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WORLD CUP, I: CABLE TIME SLOTS UP; NO "WE" IN WORLD CUP

          While ESPN and ESPN2's World Cup ratings are down from
     '94, the two nets have "scored dramatic" time slot increases
     over their '98 first quarter numbers, according to Michael
     Starr of the N.Y. POST.  As of yesterday, ESPN's World Cup
     ratings were up 17% at 8:00am, 60% at 11:00am and 125% at
     2:30pm, while ESPN2's time slot increases were even "more
     dramatic": a 300% increase at 8:00am, 200% at 11:00am and
     300% at 2:30pm (N.Y. POST, 6/19).  The WALL STREET JOURNAL's
     Steve McKee writes that ABC/ESPN's ad-free game broadcasts
     "are great, but freedom's just another word for putting
     commercials someplace else."  McKee says that during about
     48 minutes of pre, post-and halftime coverage during
     Monday's U.S.-Germany game, ABC "managed to squeeze in 58 of
     them."  McKee also criticizes ABC's Ty Keough and Brent
     Musburger for jingoism (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/19). 
     Musburger called the U.S. team's Monday performance
     "atrocious," adding, "The U.S. doesn't understand how
     physical they are in worldwide soccer.  We haven't improved
     since 1994. It's a disaster for U.S. soccer if they go
     winless in the World Cup" (USA TODAY, 6/19).
          
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