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How many folks were watching?
by Paul Kennedy, June 25th, 2010 1:03PM
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TAGS:  france, men's national team, online, soccer business, television, world cup


[MY VIEW] Just how many folks were watching USA-Algeria Wednesday morning? Let's do the math ...

Totaling the number of the viewers isn't easy in this age of multiple platforms, but here's a start:

6.2 million (ESPN)
2.2 million (Univision)
1.1 million (
650,000 (ESPN Mobile)

That totals almost 10.2 million viewers (and doesn't include those who watched the repeat broadcasts).

What that also doesn't include is everyone who watched the game on television at work or at bars or restaurants or big-screen viewings.

If there were a million or so watching the game at work on their computer, let's assume that there were another million watching on a television at their business. And let's assume five people on average were huddled together. That's another 5 million viewers.

Public viewing is a little harder to calculate. Let's say there were 10,000 establishments at which there was some kind of organized viewing with an average of 100 fans watching. That adds another 1 million viewers.

In all likelihood, more than 15 million or so fans were watching Wednesday morning.

(Where were you watching Wednesday? Let us know in the comments below.)

TRACKING THE TRACKERS. Just how popular is the World Cup in the United States compared to England. According to, its USA-Algeria GameCast peaked at 1.7 million concurrent users seeking scores. BBC Sport served 800,000 concurrent users during the England-Slovenia game being played simultaneously.

STATE OF SHOCK. You'd think the Slovakia players would have been elated after knocking out Italy, 3-2, in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, but they walked single file through the media mixed zone and didn't talk to the press.

Relations between Coach Vladimir Weiss and the Slovakian media have been stormy, to say the least. After the 2-0 loss to Paraguay, Weiss hurled expletives at journalists, walked out of the press conference only to return and threaten to beat up a reporter. (Weiss later apologized.)

Team doctor Villam Fischer said the players were simply in a state of shock. "I'm a cardio surgeon, I know what shock is -- they are in shock. This win against Italy is a shock for our players."

“When we won the World Cup, we all got given national medals of honor. Now they’ll give us medals of shame, which is right." -- Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

LE SCOUNDREL. Of the big stars at the World Cup, the players in whom sponsors have invested millions, Franck Ribery's reputation has suffered the most. And not the least for his poor form on the field in France's three games.

Nicolas Anelka was the symbol of the French malaise. Patrice Evra, the captain, was the gang leader. Raymond Domenech was the incompetent coach. But behind the scenes, Ribery was a troublemaker.

Already suffering after being implicated in the scandal involving an underage prostitute, the now world-famous mademoiselle Zahia Dehar, and missing the UEFA Champions League final after being sent off in the first leg of the semifinals, Ribery comes across as a conniver.

Before the tournament, Ribery battled with Thierry Henry over the starting job on the left side of the French attack, and Henry was eventually dropped. Ribery was given the starting job on the left wing, but just about every French observer agreed that the Bleus needed Ribery on the right side and Florent Malouda on the left.

After the 2-0 loss to Mexico in the second game, Ribery and young playmaker Yoann Gourcuff reportedly came to blows on the plane ride back to the Bleus' base camp.

That wasn't the first time Ribery and Gourcuff got into it. Ribery was accused of bullying Gourcuff, ridiculing him when he did not join his French teammates on a players' night out at a Paris "gentleman's club."

On Sunday morning, Ribery burst on the set on the popular soccer show Telefoot to deny he fought with Gourcuff and to apologize to the French nation for the Bleus' pathetic performance on the field.

Ribery offered crocodile tears by concluding that "we'll do everything to win" against South Africa. Any credibility Ribery had was lost within hours when the French boycotted training to protest Anelka's expulsion from the team. Ribery was one of the ringleaders of the boycott.

According to the the weekly newspaper Nouvel Observateur, goalie Hugo Lloris, right back Bacary Sagna and Gourcuff wanted to practice, but they were prevented from exiting the team bus by William Gallas, Evra and, you guessed it, Ribery.

  1. Kim Hutchinson
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 3:46 p.m.
    I, as the quintessential soccer mom watched the USA-Algeria game live at 8am and rewatched it tivo style with my college age son when he got up later-Fun watching both times!
  1. Joe Ver
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 4:42 p.m.
    Yes, I was watching at home since it was 6:00 am in Juneau, AK. Juneau Soccer fans have been getting up very early to watch the early matches. The US team should visit this tight knit soccer community after they bring home the trophy since we are the capital of the largest state in the US.
  1. Steven SIegel
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 5:10 p.m.
    I saw the match at the Babylon sports bar in Falls Church, VA. It is a large cavernous place with several rooms, and it was absolutely packed with fans. About 75% were rooting for Algeria. I've never seen so many Algerian jerseys in my life! The US fans wore their colors and were quite vocal. It was a great scene, completely electric.
  1. Jim Murphy
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 6:05 p.m.
    I was dying to watch it The Tilted Kilt in Tampa, but I wound up watching at home. Does anyone know what color jersey we're wearing tomorrow?
  1. Rafael Garay
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
    I couldn't watch it live, DVRed the game, but did my duty by stopping in the middle of my route to listen to it on ESPN Radio. any chance of getting rating #s by people whom listened to the game on the radio??? am sure I wasn't the only one!!!
  1. Rafael Garay
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 6:32 p.m.
    what was the deal with Domenech?? why didn't he want to shake hands with Pareira coaching the host country???!!!
  1. david caetano
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 7:13 p.m.
    here in Portugal USA is now being spoken about in a different tone. When I played this week with the old boys, UK, Canada, Ireland I even felt like a better player. Go USA, and thanks Donavon not so much for the goal but your overall talent.
  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 8:46 p.m.
    I had to work during the day, so I watched the replay in my hotel room at night.
  1. Alex Lozano
    commented on: June 25, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.
    I watched the USA-Algeria match at a bar in Burbank, California...Barney's Beanery...& it was packed with USA fans!!
  1. Bohdan Porytko
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at midnight
    I direct a major soccer tournament in New Jersey, with over 200 teams. Every coach, team manager, referee, field marshall and teenage player I chatted with seemed to have caught some part of the game. All were certainly conversant about it. I don't think the TV ratings systems are geared to properly account for all the soccer viewers in the country. BTW, many caught caught Alexi Lalas' comment after the England tie with Algeria and, like myself, laughed out loud. After listening to the English apologist ramble on about how the English squad wasn't gelling, Lalas quietly turned to him and deadpanned "Maybe they're just not that good." (Lalas delivered the line with the comic timing of Peter Krause's character on the old Alan Sorkin TV series Sports Night. Anyone else see the resemblence?)
  1. David Huff
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 10:58 a.m.
    The Cardiac Kids pulled it off once again but we will need to get ahead in these games earlier now that its win-or-go home. P.S. Joe, how's your view of Russia and was Sarah your neighbor? Lol! :)

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