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World Cup opener a ratings high for ESPN

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is setting records for ESPN, which scored its highest-rated World Cup opener when 4.435 million viewers tuned into the Brazil-Croatia telecast on Thursday.

It marked the fourth-highest-rated match of all group play games dating back to 1994 for the network, and was ESPN’s best non-U.S. game. Brazil’s 3-1 victory also became the most-watched event on the digital platform WatchESPN, bringing in 1.1 million unique viewers.

Meanwhile, Univision Deportes — the Spanish-language network broadcasting matches in the U.S. — is outdelivering the venerable sports network’s coverage of the World Cup in a number of markets and outpacing its own coverage of the 2010 soccer tournament.

Through the first four matches, Univision Deportes is beating ESPN/ESPN2 by 34 percent among total viewers. The best-performing markets for the network during World Cup broadcasts so far have included Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. READ FULL STORY

Larry King set to guest host ESPN2's 'Olbermann'

Larry King will serve as temporary host of Keith Olbermann’s ESPN2 show Olbermann.

King will appear on Oct. 1 to 3. Olbermann will be absent from the show starting Sept. 30 in order to host TBS’ MLB post-season show, according to the network’s press release.

“I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King in the press release.  “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”

King will also appear as a guest on tonight’s episode of Olbermann.

Olbermann will return on Oct. 21.

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