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Volume 24 No. 156
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ESPN's World Cup Coverage Off To Fast Start With 3.2 Overnight For Brazil-Croatia

ESPN earned a 3.2 overnight rating for the opening match of the FIFA World Cup on Thursday afternoon, which saw host nation Brazil come back and defeat Croatia 3-1. The 3.2 overnight is the best for a World Cup opening match on record (dating back to '’98). The rating also is up from a 2.1 overnight for the '’10 World Cup opener, which saw host nation South Africa draw with Mexico 1-1 early on a Friday morning. DC led all U.S. markets with a 5.1 local rating, followed by Boston with a 5.0 rating (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

: ADWEEK's Michelle Castillo noted both ESPN and Univision will live stream World Cup matches on their apps WatchESPN and Univision Deportes, "making mobile screens a viable option to stay connected." Digital audiences "will get additional video content that won't be seen on TV." The networks "have zoned in on making sure that important moments like goals and penalties will be clipped into bite-sized materials in as close to real time as possible so fans can rewatch and share them with friends through social media." Online viewers "will also get best-of recaps, analysis and other content based on highlights from the matches" (, 6/12).

GOING ALL-OUT: In Albany, Pete Dougherty writes let us "give credit" to ESPN for not "cheating viewers" during its lame-duck broadcast of the World Cup. All 64 games of the tournament "will air on the ESPN family of networks, which has done more to raise soccer's profile in this country than MLS, NWSL or any other league could." ESPN President John Skipper: "For a month it's going to be everywhere you look. We have 290 studio hours around these games. We've got soccer documentaries. We've got 40 short little features from Wright Thompson about the culture of Brazil." When Fox takes over World Cup broadcasts starting in '18, it "will need to become the Carl Yastrzemski to ESPN's Ted Williams" (Albany TIMES UNION, 6/13).

MEAGER BEGINNING: In London, Edward Malnick reports the World Cup "got off to a faltering start on Thursday night when poor sound quality left many television viewers unable to enjoy the opening ceremony." The sound quality left the voices of Jennifer Lopez and fellow singers Pitbull and Claudia Leitte "sounding faint and 'tinny.'" A source at ITV, which broadcast the ceremony in Britain, said that it "had 'no control' over audio levels because a single feed was distributed around the world"  (London TELEGRAPH, 6/13).