By Paul Kennedy
ESPN's broadcast of Tuesday's Mexico-USA game drew a 1.6 overnight rating (the percentage of households tuning in) and is on pace to smash the ESPN/ESPN2 record for the highest rating for a World Cup qualifier.
The 1.6 rating is more than double the previous record of 0.7 for the 1997 USA-Jamaica game and 2009 USA-Mexico game.
The overnight rating for Friday's USA-Costa Rica game was a 0.7 and the final rating was a 0.6. (The overnight rating is a snapshot, covering major markets. Soccer ratings tend to dip as non-urban areas are included.)
LOWE TO HOST NBC'S EPL COVERAGE. Rebecca Lowe, who currently serves as co-host of ESPN UK’s coverage of Premier League soccer, has signed a multi-year agreement with NBC Sports Group to be the host of its EPL coverage, beginning in August.
She will relocate to the United States and will host the EPL coverage from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.
“I'm about to begin the most exciting chapter of my life,” said Lowe in a statement. “Joining NBC to present the Premier League is an enormous privilege. Not only do I get to combine my love of football and of TV presenting, but I'm getting the chance to do that in a new country, which poses a real challenge.”
Lowe co-hosted ESPN’s coverage of the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany and its Euro 2012 coverage from Bristol, Conn.
ESPN is pulling out of Britain after losing several broadcast rights deals, including live coverage of the EPL.
NBC will replace Fox Soccer as the U.S. home of the EPL, beginning with the 2013-14 season.
SOUNDERS WOMEN RELEASE DOC. The USL PRO's Seattle Sounders Women have released a short documentary on their opening game of 2012 that featured such U.S. stars as Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.
The documentary contains no dialogue, but is instead accompanied by match sound effects and an original score by Zadok Arthur.
The Sounders Women, who are not owned by the MLS club, bid to become a NWSL member but were beaten out by the Seattle Reign FC.
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