Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup Frenzy [J. Mark English]

Rodolfo Profili, 77 years old, died trying to hoist the Italian flag, due to falling off a ladder. At least he saw his country capture the World Cup before his last breath. Of course, irony is that without having seen his country winnnig the cup, he'd still be breathing.
Despite Profili's death, citizens continue to express mass exaltation over their national achievement yesterday:
"Rome erupted in a damburst of joy, firecrackers, flags and tearful embraces as Italians celebrated their country's World Cup triumph after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out against France.
"In scenes echoed up and down the country, delirious supporters flocked into Piazza Venezia in the centre of the Italian capital to vent their delight and relief, scenes echoed in piazzas across Italy from Milan in the north to Messina in Sicily."
Spanish TV station Univision is also enjoying the World Cup with a spike in its ratings:
According to the latest figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research, Univision Network's World Cup games had an average household rating of 1.3 percent between June 9 and July 7 - an average of 1.5 million households.
TeleFutura's average household rating was 0.1 percent, with an average of 122,000 households tuning in to the games, according to the ratings tracker.
Even ABC experienced a bump in its viewership:
The average World Cup Soccer matched aired on ABC in 2002 scored less than 1 million viewers. According to Reuters, this year the average is 2.6 million, representing a 65 percent increase from the previous tournament.
Major League Soccer will look to capitalize in the national interested in soccer from the World Cup:
Despite their team's first-round exit, many Americans have shown a surge in interest in the World Cup -- and U.S. soccer officials hope that will translate into benefits for Major League Soccer.
"Even after the U.S. was eliminated, people were still talking about (the World Cup)," MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said. "Seven to 10 days later, they were still beating up on the team and (coach Bruce) Arena."