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ESPN2 telecast tops 1 million viewers
by Paul Kennedy, August 12th, 2011 3:57AM
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TAGS:  men's national team, television


[TELEVISION WATCH] Despite ESPN2's late start to its coverage of the USA-Mexico friendly, its broadcast was watched by 1,084,000 viewers.

The game's broadcast began on ESPNews because a Little League Southeast regional semifinal game from Georgia went over its two-hour time slot by 35 minutes.

The 1,084,000 viewers earned the game a 0.5 rating and represented a larger viewing audience than any other program on ESPN or ESPN2 on Wednesday night.

Univision drew 4.5 million viewers and USA-Mexico was the No. 1 network program among adults 18-34 males 18-49.

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
    I switched over to GOL TV when the game was delayed. It's obvious where ESPN's priorities lay. Whomever is running things at ESPN didn't understand the importance of this game; Klinsman's first game as USMNT coach; and the rivalry between the US and Mexico. ESPN has lost some soccer cred.
  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
    On my last comment, it wasn't GOL TV I switched to, it was Univision. Sorry
  1. Gil Ramirez
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 11:47 a.m.
    Such a stupid decision on the part of ESPN. I felt like they were rubbing the late start on every soccer fan by not even commenting on the eventual switch to the US/MEX game at the end of the little-leaguer's (though there were scattered banners at the bottom of the screen). So feeling unwanted and un-appreciated I switched to Univision. Also, despite the foursome set of analysts during intermission and postgame, ESPN was still lacking. Alexei Lalas needs to be told that he cannot ride on passion and frustration every time to fill up his commentary slot. American fans deserve better, intelligent, clear, knowledgeable, articulate commentary that informs, educates and nurtures a culture of soccer is also needed for a nation that wants to be a contender. Jorge Ramos was OK. but not too clear sometimes. We have Jurgen at the helm on the field now, we need the equivalent on the side of broadcasting.
  1. David Sirias
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.
    Harkes and Lalas blow. The audience has surpassed the knowledge ( or at least articulated knowledge) of the analysts. Loved Ramos, but English is not his first lanaguage and it's hard on the ears. Thing is, we have good ole American brodcasters who are just as informative and insightful. But ESPN chooses to hire fools like Harkes and Lalas.
  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 1:01 p.m.
    I had practice last night, so I had the DVR set. I hate ESPN! Luckily I got to watch the 2nd half on Univision. I later watched the little bit that was recorded, to see what Harkes and the british blowhard had to say and I think Harkes is angry that Bradley isn't coaching anymore. Ian Darke is a bore. Harkes is more negative than the housing market and has very little that is insightful. I doubt he understands off the ball movement. Did anyone see how late our guys (bradley) adjusted to where the ball was and how little they paid attention to the shape of the team. Disgusting.
  1. Carl Walther
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 1:07 p.m.
    I'll say it again--ESPN hates soccer. They would have preempted the game if there was a kick ball game of 5th graders that ran over before it. I'm glad NBC is going to start broadcasting MLS games.
  1. Thomas Brannan
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.
    It seems there was more criticism of Klinsman in one night than there was of Bradley from the booth in many games. Harkes wants another striker next to Buddle et. al. John the USA didn't have the ball early on and you should be able to hold the ball long enough to get some people forward anyway. It does get to be a bit to much.
  1. Julio Moreira
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.
    In other words, ESPN had a 0.5 rating Meanwhile Univision finished tied with NBC and ahead of ABC with its average rating of 1.7 (5 share) among the coveted adults 18-49. And are you counting the hundreds of thousands of family members specially the young watching soccer on UNIVISION or only the 18-49, PLEASE be more concise in your ratings, if I do my maths correct all together more than 5 million viewers watch this game.It's important that you do the right thing for Soccer, and be precise in your numbers.
  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 4:43 p.m.
    On the soccer side, almost every team in South Africa played 4-2-3-1, that is, only one striker. The idea of this is that with possession, the weak side of the 3 pushes up into a striker position. This works best with speed on top and speed on the wings. But it requires a true #10 who can distribute the ball. Jorge Ramos understood this, which is why he wanted Donovan, our best player on the ball in terms of pace, passing, and tactical sense, to be playing in the middle, behind the striker and in front of Torres. On the television side, I thought Harkes, Lalas, Ley, Darke, and Ramos were all fine. Fine??? We should remember that the audience to which they must appeal is not those of us who read Soccer America, but the more casual fan. That is the only way to grow a non-Hispanic American audience (the Hispanic TV audience is already there, as witnessed by Univision's numbers).
  1. Kenneth Barr
    commented on: August 13, 2011 at 5:42 a.m.
    There really isn't a difference between ESPN and ESPN2 so I don't know what the fuss is about. The coverage was fine and Ian Darke cleverly worked in some arch commentary to add some humor to the proceedings. Jorge Ramos added valuable insight. Harkes and Lalas were their usual bland selves. I missed Steve McManaman, who showed he could feed off Lalas and add color to the coverage during the World Cup. ESPN still produces a better show than Fox Soccer, who insists on trotting out inane commentators like Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: August 13, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
    I DVR every game so I can watch it later without interruption. When I saw the Little League game ahead of Soccer on the schedule, I set it to record on ESPN but also set it to record on Univision because I knew I'd get to see the beginning of the game that way. I wasn't sure which channel ESPN would switch to when they left the little league game on but knew it was going to happen (this is nothing new). Normally they switch to ESPN2 when ESPN has programming run long, but since the game was on the deuce, I wasn't sure where they would put it.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: August 13, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.
    As for the broadcast. Harkes was more outspoken about the formation than I'd heard under Bradley. I thought he was right, of course. Ramos was pretty brilliant in his analysis. He understood what changes were going to come about with the different substitutes. I was skeptical when he was down on the insertion of Dos Santos saying, "he only knows one speed and now the midfield is going to have problems." Sure enough, that's what I saw going on. I like Taylor Twellman. He's a little more contemporary than Lalas and Harkes (he's played more recently and knows the guys). I took note of the man-crush Lalas and (mostly) Twellman had for Klinsmann after the game and JK's interview.
  1. David Huff
    commented on: August 14, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.
    What is the frequency Kenneth? The ESPN drugs you are on are horrible indeed. ESPN showed its true priorities by allowing kids baseball to prevail over the inaugural debut of our national team coach and at a rivalry game no less. The USSF needs to lose these guys when the next contract comes up in 2014, use NBC, Fox or CBS but not ABC/ESPN.

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