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Bad Refs No Impediment To World Cup Viewing

The controversy over lousy officiating is not harming TV ratings or keeping crowds away from the World Cup soccer tournament, reports the Associated Press. The tournament's TV rights partner, Infront, estimates a cumulative viewing audience exceeding 30 billion so far across the tournament. And about 40 percent of that audience is female--something Infront's Dominik Schmid says can only be attributed to "a World Cup phenomenon." All but one of FIFA's--soccer's global governing body--207 affiliated members had negotiated broadcasting deals, with only Turkmenistan not taking the live feed. He adds that ratings records are falling around the world, even in countries that did not qualify. One highlight was the England-Paraguay first-round match that had a viewing audience in China of 62.9 million--more than the combined populations of both countries.



Read the whole story at Associated Press via The Arizona Republic »

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