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THE CUP RUNNETH OVER: UNIVISION GETS BIG KICK OUT OF SOCCER
Published July 14, 1998
Spanish-language broadcaster Univision drew a record 22.2/46 rating, or 1.7 million Hispanic households in the U.S., for Sunday's World Cup Final, according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. ABC's preliminary overnight rating for the Final was a 6.9/17. In N.Y., Univision O&O WXTV drew a 4.9 marking its highest-rated daytime program ever (N.Y. TIMES, 7/14). In L.A., Univision's KMEX drew a 7.3, Miami's WLTV scored a 14.0 (DAILY VARIETY, 7/14). In Houston, KXLN earned a 5.0 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/14). FINAL TV NUMBERS: For the whole tournament, Univision averaged 850,000 households per game, "easily eclipsing" both ESPN (670,000 households) and ESPN2 (114,000). Though ESPN's ratings fell 50% from the '94 Cup and ESPN2's fell 38%, the ratings were "considerably higher" than the two nets' regular programming, with games rating between 33-300% higher than usual segments in the time periods (AP, 7/14). For all 64 games, Univision averaged a 10.9, down 10% from '94's 11.9, while ABC, in conjunction with ESPN and ESPN2, averaged "an unofficial" 2.7 -- down from a 5.1 in '94. ABC Dir of Media Relations Mark Mandel: "We had realistic ratings expectations for the World Cup, but we don't only measure the success of the tournament by those numbers" (N.Y. POST, 7/14). Media Buyer Paul Schulman called ABC's 6.9/17 overnight "excellent" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 7/14). In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes that the Cup ratings "were much better than the soccer haters would have you believe, once time of broadcasts is considered and Hispanic viewers are added to the totals" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/14). GOOOOOOAAAAL! Univision's World Cup ratings were the net's "best showing ever against an English-language competitor showing the same programming," according to Michael Stroud of BROADCASTING & CABLE. The numbers were "also a reflection of the fast-growing Hispanic audience's power." Univision reaches "about 92%" of U.S. Hispanics (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 7/13). VARIETY's Cynthia Littleton examines Univision's "ad kick" from the Cup. The net "is projected to see as much as" a 25-30% increase from its ad rates last year, estimated at about $200M (VARIETY, 7/13). A STAR IS BORN? Julie Foudy, who served as an ESPN analyst during the Cup, was listed as a "Winner" in TIME's "Winners & Losers" segment, as she "dazzles World Cup fans with smarts and verve. A commentator is born" (TIME, 7/20)....In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes that ABC's Bob Ley and Seamus Malin "achieved mediocrity" announcing Sunday's Cup Final (N.Y. TIMES, 7/14).