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Volume 25 No. 107
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Croatia-Denmark Leads Fox' Ratings For Round Of 16 Openers

Croatia-Denmark was the second game to have to be decided by penalty kicks

The FIFA World Cup Round of 16 began over the weekend, with Croatia's win yesterday in penalty kicks over Denmark on Fox leading the way in overnight ratings (4.6). Croatia-Denmark topped Fox' Uruguay-Portugal on Saturday afternoon, which drew a 4.4 overnight. Yesterday morning, Russia's win over Spain in PKs drew a 4.1 overnight, while on Saturday morning, France-Argentina drew a 3.9 overnight. The opening weekend is likely down from four years ago, when ABC/ESPN drew a 4.5 overnight for three matches and a 4.0 for another match (none involving the USMNT). Four years ago, the opening Round of 16 weekend on ABC/ESPN skewed higher as Ghana-U.S. drew a 9.1 overnight from South Africa. Meanwhile, Uruguay-Portugal over the weekend was Telemundo's top-rated Round of 16 game, drawing a 3.2 overnight. That was slightly ahead of the Spanish-language net's figure for France-Argentina (3.1) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). 

OUT OF LUCK: AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Jay Rigdon wrote Fox "wasn't shy about hoping" for Argentina F Lionel Messi and Portugal F Cristiano Ronaldo to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. But while the "dream scenario for Fox was seeing the two stars face off," the "nightmare scenario is this, with both of them gone on the first day of the knockout stage." The blow "isn't as big for Fox because the ceiling isn't as high, but they definitely lost out on some easy interest" (, 6/30).