SBD/June 20, 2014/Media

Home Of The Brave: DC Tops U.S. Markets For World Cup Games On ABC/ESPN/ESPN2

DC continues to have a strong lead over all U.S. markets, drawing a 4.6 average local rating for 23 FIFA World Cup matches across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. That figure is up from DC’s 3.6 rating during the ’10 World Cup (all matches), which ranked third overall. The N.Y. and S.F.-Oakland-San Jose markets are tied for second to date with a 3.9 local rating. Rounding out the top five to date are Hartford-New Haven and L.A. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, which led all markets for ’10 coverage, currently ranks seventh. Meanwhile, the Uruguay-England match led ESPN’s coverage Thursday with a 2.7 overnight rating (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

TOP MARKETS THROUGH 23 WORLD CUP TELECASTS ON ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
RANK
MARKET
LOCAL RATING
1
DC
4.6
2t
S.F.-Oakland-San Jose
3.9
2t
N.Y.
3.9
4t
Hartford-New Haven
3.5
4t
L.A.
3.5
6
Orlando-Daytona Beach
3.4
7t
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
3.3
7t
Boston
3.3
7t
Atlanta
3.3
10
Richmond
3.2
   

SOCIAL SEMAPHORE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Geoff Foster notes Twitter before the start of the World Cup "brought back hashflags." If you hashtagged the FIFA three-letter code "for one of the 32 World Cup countries, a little flag would magically appear in your tweet." But there is "one catch: You have to get the country code right," and this "has proved harder than one might expect." Tweets about Cameroon "have proved trickiest: 13.8% of people attempting to use the #CMR flag have erroneously typed #CAM instead." #CAM "is the country code for Cambodia." Likewise, #NIG is the "country code for Niger not Nigeria, but 7.2% of people tweeting about Nigeria got this wrong too" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/20).

PUT YOUR FLAGS AWAY: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes he does not expect ESPN's World Cup commentators and analysts, who are "speaking to a U.S. audience, to divorce all sense of connection with their home country." However, an on-air personality that keeps their feelings unknown "would be vastly preferable to some ... kind of grandstanding, cheerleading stooge." ESPN's Alexi Lalas was among those that were "marinating in the goodwill of victory, basking in the echoing chants of USA! USA!" following the U.S.-Ghana match Monday. Wolfley: "A broadcaster momentarily getting wrapped up in the wrong way in an international competition happens in the Olympics as well. But the best anaysts stay away from that rail as much as possible and realize they were hired to talk about soccer ... and not get giddy about getting past a nemesis in one match" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/20).

GETTING THEIR KICKS: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes anyone who has "watched a few minutes of the World Cup might recognize the international TV feed directors are no different from U.S. directors assigned to NFL games." World Cup directors "have been assigned or self-assigned to show every face-painted, down-in-front! high-hatted, feathered freak and World Cup-guzzler in every house." The World Cup "grants favored status to lunatics who would attend to be seen rather than to watch" (N.Y. POST, 6/20).

NEW TO THE SPORT? In Albany, Pete Dougherty writes the U.S.' victory over Ghana on Monday has "shown how ignorant some media personalities are about soccer." NBC's "Today" show co-host Savannah Guthrie "tried to compare it" to the '80 U.S. hockey team's "Miracle on Ice." WFAN-AM's Mike Francesa, "reluctantly giving air time to the sport" on his show, asked St. John's soccer coach Dave Masur "whether there are players who kick the ball with both legs" (Albany TIMES UNION, 6/20). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes since Francesa "has portrayed himself as the expert's expert," he "deserves to be praised, not excoriated or lambasted" for admitting his lack of knowledge about soccer. Soccer fans ridiculed Francesa "for asking naive questions they could easily answer." Raissman writes Francesa's interview with Masur "was designed" for people "who know practically nothing about soccer" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/20).
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