SBD/July 3, 2014/Media

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  • ESPN, Univision Combine For 21.6 Million Viewers For Belgium-U.S. World Cup Match

    ESPN and Univision combined to draw 21.59 million viewers for Tuesday's Belgium-U.S. FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match. ESPN’s 16.49 million viewers marks the third-best audience for a soccer match in U.S. TV history, behind only ESPN’s U.S.-Portugal match on June 22 (18.22 million) and the '99 U.S.-China Women’s World Cup Final on ABC (17.98 million). Univision finished with 5.1 million viewers for Belgium-U.S. That figure is below the net’s 6.5 million viewers for U.S.-Portugal, and well below the net’s 10.4 million viewers for the Netherlands-Mexico Round of 16 match on Sunday, which marked the most-viewed Spanish-language program in U.S. TV history. The audience for Belgium-U.S. was ahead of the 4.2 million viewers Univision drew in '02 for the U.S.-Mexico Round of 16 match. ESPN/ESPN2/ABC are averaging 4.08 million viewers through the Round of 16, marking a record World Cup audience for the company. For the Round of 16 alone, Univision saw a record audience. The first knockout stage averaged 4.4 million viewers on the Spanish-language net (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). In L.A., Ryan Faughnder wrote the audience is an "impressive feat" for ESPN, especially considering that many U.S. fans "were still at work" with a 1:00pm PT start time (LATIMES.com, 7/2). The AP's David Bauder noted it is an "impressive total for a weekday afternoon that almost certainly undercounts how many people actually saw it." Nielsen does "not measure viewership in bars, offices or other public places." ESPN in '10 estimated that the "stated audience size for weekday World Cup games would increase" by 23% if public viewing were taken into account (AP, 7/2).

    MOST-VIEWED SOCCER MATCHES ALL-TIME IN THE U.S.
    DATE
    MATCH
    NETWORK
    RATING
    VIEWERS (000)
    6/22/14
    World Cup group stage: U.S.-Portugal
    ESPN
    9.6
    18,220
    7/10/99
    Women's World Cup Final: U.S.-China
    ABC
    11.4
    17,975
    7/1/14
    World Cup Round of 16: Belgium-U.S.
    ESPN
    9.8
    16,491
    7/11/10
    World Cup Final: Spain-Netherlands
    ABC
    8.4
    15,905
    6/26/10
    World Cup Round of 16: U.S.-Ghana
    ABC
    8.5
    15,193
    7/17/94
    World Cup Final: Brazil-Italy
    ABC
    9.5
    14,510
    7/4/94
    World Cup Round of 16: Brazil-U.S.
    ABC
    9.3
    13,694
    7/17/11
    Women's World Cup Final: Japan-U.S.
    ESPN
    7.4
    13,458
    7/9/06
    World Cup Final: Italy-France
    ABC
    7.0
    11,961
     

    DIGITAL FRONT: WatchESPN drew 1.107 million unique viewers for Belgium-U.S., marking a record audience on the platform for any event. The previous record was set during Germany-U.S. in the group stage. Univision Digital also had its best day on record on Tuesday with 5.6 million combined streams for Argentina-Switzerland and Belgium-U.S. (Karp).

    FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Shannon Bond notes the Belgium-U.S. game generated a 50% "surge in live streaming compared with the previous record," set during the '12 London Games. That shows the sport's appeal "has grown particularly among younger, more digital fans." Those fans also are "flocking to social media." Facebook has seen more than 1 billion posts, likes and comments since the tournament started, making it "the most talked about event in the social network's history." Data from analytics group Brandwatch shows that the World Cup also has been mentioned 20 million times on Twitter (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/3).

    BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION: In Chicago, Ed Sherman writes the "entire scenario does beg the question of whether the World Cup has become the Olympics version of soccer for U.S. sports fans?" Once every four years, figure skating and gymnastics "pull in big numbers for NBC, then pretty much fade from view." ESPN Senior VP/Research & Analytics Artie Bulgrin said, "There's no question the World Cup is in a class by itself in terms of interest." However, he thinks that a "different dynamic is at work for soccer." Bulgrin contends that the "momentum has been building with increased ratings" for the EPL and other int'l soccer telecasts in recent years (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/3). In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes the World Cup "goes on now without the plucky Americans, and we all know the level of interest in the States takes a steep dive." The watch parties "dwindle to a precious few hard-core fans, the TV ratings for MLS matches will continue to be embarrassing, at least for now, and talk radio stops riffing and starts ripping again" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/3). In Toronto, Kurtis Larson writes soccer "still hasn't arrived" in the U.S. While TV ratings "are up, it's not as close to arriving as we once thought" (TORONTO SUN, 7/3).

    STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE: In K.C., Sam McDowell noted U.S. men's national team member and Sporting KC D Matt Besler is "scheduled for a national media tour Friday morning that includes stops" at "SportsCenter," "GMA," "Morning Joe," "SVP & Russillo" and CNN, along with several others (KANSASCITY.com, 7/2). 

    NORTHERN EXPOSURE: A record 29.5 million Canadians have tuned in to World Cup coverage provided by the CBC/Radio-Canada and its partners. That eclipses the CBC's cumulative reach for the entire '10 World Cup. Five of the eight knockout-stage matches averaged audiences in excess of 2 million, highlighted by 2.7 million viewers taking in Belgium-U.S. (CBC).

    Print | Tags: Media, ESPN, FIFA World Cup, Univision, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
  • Howard, Dempsey Lead USMNT Players In Gains During World Cup On Twitter, Instagram

    The widespread influence of the U.S. men’s national team at the FIFA World Cup was reinforced by the boost in popularity for each player on social media. Every member of the team active on social media saw at least 100,000 new followers combined between Instagram and Twitter over the last three weeks. The average Twitter gain per player was over 169,000 while the average Instagram gain was over 29,600. U.S. G Tim Howard saw the biggest gain with over 600,000 new followers combined on the two platforms after his play inspired the internet meme of “#ThingsTimHowardCouldSave.” The next most popular player was the team’s leading scorer, F Clint Dempsey, with over 483,000 new followers. Dempsey’s  981,000 followers make him the most-popular active U.S. player on social media now that the team’s run is over, passing the pre-World Cup leader, injured F Jozy Altidore. The young goal-scoring members of the U.S. squad, D John Brooks and MF Julian Green, each gained over 225,000 new followers. Numbers were compiled on June 10 and July 2.

    U.S. PLAYER
    TWITTER
    (6/10)
    INSTAGRAM
    (6/10)
    TOTAL
    (6/10)
    TWITTER
    (7/2)
    INSTAGRAM
    (7/2)
    TOTAL
    (72)
    ADDS
    Tim
    Howard
    68,975
    73,415
    142,390
    535,386
    212,677
    748,063
    605,673
    Clint
    Dempsey
    356,423
    142,401
    498,824
    683,465
    298,466
    981,931
    483,107
    Julian
    Green
    20,897
    1,504
    22,401
    234,013
    21,524
    255,537
    233,136
    John
    Brooks
    18,020
    4,939
    22,959
    228,716
    22,987
    251,703
    228,744
    Fabian
    Johnson
    24,127
    12,261
    36,388
    229,609
    32,862
    262,471
    226,083
    DeAndre
    Yedlin
    32,283
    10,740
    43,023
    230,864
    33,206
    264,070
    221,047
    Jermaine
    Jones
    195,901
    23,548
    219,449
    382,299
    54,871
    437,170
    217,721
    Mix
    Diskerud
    39,852
    15,532
    55,384
    228,000
    22,735
    250,735
    195,351
    Jozy
    Altidore
    649,327
    126,882
    776,209
    814,441
    149,048
    963,489
    187,280
    Kyle
    Beckerman
    52,452
    22,812
    75,264
    199,401
    49,675
    249,076
    173,812
    Aron
    Johannsson
    33,883
    10,501
    44,384
    163,606
    27,700
    191,306
    146,922
    Graham
    Zusi
    41,862
    14,229
    56,091
    164,217
    34,811
    199,028
    142,937
    DaMarcus
    Beasley
    109,955
    19,469
    129,424
    228,324
    35,958
    264,282
    134,858
    Geoff
    Cameron
    54,788
    21,043
    75,831
    165,882
    33,931
    199,813
    123,982
    Matt
    Besler
    35,016
    11,103
    46,119
    150,561
    19,048
    169,609
    123,490
    Chris
    Wondolowski
    35,652
    0
    35,652
    157,088
    0
    157,088
    121,436
    Brad
    Davis
    32,624
    4,103
    36,727
    145,721
    11,403
    157,124
    120,397
    Alejandro
    Bedoya
    73,649
    16,253
    89,902
    179,761
    30,048
    209,809
    119,907
    Omar
    Gonzalez
    41,760
    17,734
    59,494
    150,061
    26,082
    176,143
    116,649
    Nick
    Rimando
    42,274
    17,451
    59,725
    142,516
    24,917
    167,433
    107,708
    Brad
    Guzan
    92,692
    10,982
    103,674
    188,359
    18,567
    206,926
    103,252
    Michael
    Bradley
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    Timothy
    Chandler
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
     
    NOTE: * = Michael Bradley only has a private Instagram account with 146 followers.

    Print | Tags: Media, FIFA World Cup, Twitter, Instagram
  • Bowman Says 120 Sports Designed To Appeal To Those With Short-Attention Spans

    Bowman says 120 Sports will be ready to discuss the day's most topical story

    MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman said the theory behind recently launched digital network 120 Sports "is that every story is two minutes long, 120 seconds." Bowman, appearing Wednesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," added, "It's built for the digital age, i.e. it's built for digital first, not even on what we call TV today. Every story is two minutes long and that gets to the attention span. We laugh at teenagers but all of us, even people as old as we are, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter and shorter as well. ... It tries to move quickly. It's mobile, it's video and it's shareable which are the three things all content has to be now." Bowman said content will be "whatever the most topical sports story is" and will include "some highlights and some live look-ins." The day 120 Sports launched, the net was "fortunate to have" Giants P Tim Lincecum "throwing his second no-no so they actually did a live look-in to watch that." Bowman: "The only limitation is your imagination, but it still takes hard work and it takes cooperation. What we like about 120 is we have the NBA, the NHL, MLB, PGA Tour, NASCAR, it's the first time all those entities have gotten together and sort of done it on their own without the ESPNs or Foxes involved and that's an important model too. Pay TV is very important to everybody but this is an over-the-top, direct-to-consumer video-only, mobile-only product that we think is going to do quite well" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 7/2). 

    MORNING GLORY: 120 Sports on Wednesday announced that a new two-hour block of live programming called "120 Morning Run" will debut at 8:00am ET. The show will be co-hosted Monday through Friday from 8:00-10:00am by Laurence Holmes and Dylan McGorty and will serve as a preview for the day to come, as well as provide a round-up of the previous night's most important topics and events. Holmes currently hosts his own night time talk show for Chicago-based WBBM-AM and WMAQ-NBC. McGorty also co-hosts a weekend show on WGWG-FM. Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm also will join the 120 Sports team, providing analysis on the NFL and fantasy football for "120 Morning Run" (120 Sports).

    Print | Tags: Media, 120 Sports
  • Clay Travis Rides Popular Blog To Fox Sports Licensing Deal, Nashville Radio Gig

    Travis said his website's success has made him a multimillionaire

    Sports blogger and Nashville-based WGFX-FM co-host Clay Travis in the past eight years has "propelled himself from a couch-crashing blogger and aspiring author to a one-man sports media brand," according to a profile by Nate Rau of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Travis is now a "full-fledged celebrity, the guy sports fans in Nashville and throughout the Southeast want to know 'what he's really like.'" He is "one-third of the on-air team for '3HL,' the ratings-dominating afternoon rush-hour show" on WGFX. Travis said that his contract the radio station "expires in August, and the two sides are in negotiations about an extension." Meanwhile, his OutKicktheCoverage.com website has a "lucrative licensing deal" with Fox Sports, and Travis has "added national TV to his list of accomplishments" as part of FS1's "Fox College Saturday." He has "broken stories of national interest, turned local YouTube videos into social media sensations and waded happily into any and every controversial sports topic imaginable." But while Travis "has found success as a broadcaster, his bread and butter remains his website." He said that the site's success has "made him a multimillionaire" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/2).

    Print | Tags: Media, Fox
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