Spain-Italy Euro 2012 Match Delivers Strong Overnight During ESPN's Opening WeekendPublished June 12, 2012
ESPN’s Spain-Italy match on Sunday led all of the net’s UEFA Euro 2012 matches from the opening weekend with a 1.7 overnight Nielsen rating, a figure that is higher than any overnight during the '08 tournament, excluding the Spain-Germany final on ABC. That figure was also higher than ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” telecast later in the day, which earned a 1.6 overnight for the Tigers-Reds matchup. The network also drew good overnights for Saturday’s Denmark-Netherlands (1.2) and Germany-Portugal (1.3), as well as Sunday’s Croatia-Ireland (1.2). By comparison, ESPN’s telecast of the U.S. national team’s World Cup qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda on Saturday night drew a 0.8 overnight (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). ESPN's highest overnight for UEFA Euro first-round games in '08 was 0.9 rating (USA TODAY, 6/12). In Tampa, Tom Jones wrote ESPN's "Euro 2012 Tonight" is not "soccer for dummies." The show is "in-depth analysis and soccer talk." Host Bob Ley is "masterful at leading his capable analysts, former U.S. star Alexi Lalas and former German captain Michael Ballack." ESPN has "smartly figured out the only people likely watching the show are soccer diehards," so it makes the show "for them, not the casual viewer" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/11).
A BIG DRAW: THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Szalai & Leffler report yesterday's England-France 1-1 tie "drew strong ratings for the broadcasters in the respective countries, with Britain's ITV and France's TF1 both reporting a majority share of the national TV audience at the time." ITV said that the match, which aired late Monday afternoon/early evening, "drew an average of 12.3 million viewers, or a 56 percent share," for the net. TF1 said that 10.2 million people "watched with a peak of 14 million towards the end of the game, more than a 50 percent share for the time slot" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/12). The GUARDIAN's Jason Deans notes BBC1's coverage of Germany's 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday "provided the biggest audience of the first weekend of Euro 2012, attracting more than 8 million viewers during the live match broadcast." ITV1 took "second and third place in the football ratings for Sunday night's coverage of Ireland v Croatia and Spain v Italy, with both enjoying live match average audiences of over 7 million." Audiences for both BBC1 and ITV1 "were well up on the first weekend of Euro 2008, when England, the rest of the home nations and Ireland failed to qualify" (GUARDIAN, 6/12). Meanwhile, in London, Robin Scott-Elliot notes part of the "TV appeal of a finals is the BBC v ITV contest, and the challenge ITV face to come close to denting the corporation's traditional advantage was obvious from the moment the BBC aired an excellent film of Denmark's shock triumph in 1992 to preview Saturday's game with the Dutch." This time ITV has "made the effort to base [its] coverage in Warsaw, while the BBC" has stayed in Manchester (London INDEPENDENT, 6/11).
GOOD NUMBERS IN CANADA: TSN and TSN2 during the opening weekend's six games drew an average of 707,000 viewers. That is more than double the average audience for the first six games of Euro 2008 (265,000 on TSN and Sportsnet). TSN drew 1.1 million viewers for Spain-Italy on Sunday (Bell Media).
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