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CUP CRAZY: ABC, ESPN AND ESPN2 GEAR UP FOR WORLD CUP ACTION
Published June 5, 1998
Four years "after scoring surprisingly high" ratings with the World Cup, ESPN and ABC "are hoping for a repeat performance this summer," according to Breznick & Reynolds of CABLE WORLD. Along with ESPN2, the networks will show all 64 World Cup '98 games live in the U.S. for the first time. Tournament coverage begins June 10 with two games on ESPN. Both ESPN and ESPN2 will run 30-minute pre-game shows before each match, and ESPN2 will also present a 30-minute wrapup program each night. ESPN, which averaged a 1.8 rating for 41 telecasts in '94, "is shooting for at least a 1.1 to 1.3 average." ABC, which will show 14 games, including all three scheduled Team USA games, declined to project a rating. In '94, ABC averaged a 5.3 for 11 telecasts. ESPN is also "already pitching" next year's Women's World Cup to advertisers. ESPN "is seeking six prime sponsors" for its coverage (CABLE WORLD, 6/1).