WORLD CUP NOTES: RATINGS DOWN FOR ESPN OPENER
ESPN's ratings for its opening day coverage of the
World Cup were down 57% from '94, according to an AP report
in the N.Y. TIMES. The Brazil-Scotland match earned a 0.8
cable rating, down from the '94 2.2 rating for the Germany-
Bolivia match. Wednesday's second game, Morocco-Norway,
also got a 0.8 rating. The AP reported, "Despite the low
viewership, it was higher than ESPN's normal ratings." In
the second quarter this year, ESPN averaged a 0.4 during the
11:00am ET slot and 0.2 during the 2:30pm ET time slot (N.Y.
TIMES, 6/13). The U.S. plays its first match today against
Germany, with the game televised live on ABC starting at
3:00pm ET. The U.S. team is the focus of USA TODAY's cover
story and Christopher Winner writes that while a worldwide
audience of 2 billion will watch today's game, the "soft
weekday afternoon time slot is expected to draw a U.S. TV
audience of just 3-4 million" (USA TODAY, 6/15).
SOME HINTS OF HOOLIGANISM: Ticket problems and isolated
fan violence continue in France. The front page of today's
N.Y. POST reads: "Chaos At The World Cup" (6/15). In
Marseille, about 80 English fans were arrested when they
clashed with French police (USA TODAY, 6/15)....French and
FIFA execs have launched investigations into the "widespread
sale of phantom World Cup tickets" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/15).