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World Cup Ratings Soar; Univision Has Most-Viewed Telecast in History

mexiconetherlandsAs the clock ticks down to the 4pmET start for the Round of 16 USA/Belgium World Cup match, the TV ratings for other World Cup games continue to score big in the U.S.

Univision’s airing of the Mexico vs. Netherlands match Sunday afternoon was the most-viewed telecast in U.S. Spanish-language television history. The match drew 10.4 million Total Viewers and 5.8 million Adults 18-49.

Univision’s coverage of Mexico vs. Netherlands out-delivered ESPN. Still, the English-language airing on ESPN drew 6.571 million Total Viewers making it the highest-rated men’s World Cup match, in any round not involving a U.S. team.

ABC also posted large audiences for its weekend telecasts. ABC’s coverage of Brazil beating Chile on Saturday, ranks as the third highest-rated non-U.S. men’s World Cup Round of 16 match on ESPN or ABC drawing 6.142 million Total Viewers.

For Univision, the Mexico vs. Netherlands match, with a late scoring win for the Dutch, reached 16.2 million Total Viewers who tuned into all or part of the broadcast.

The World Cup continues to score on social media, with Facebook topping 1 billion mentions from 220 million users.

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Keith Olbermann Won’t Be Getting In a Car With Anyone From MSNBC

ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann‘s departure from MSNBC in 2011 was certainly not warm and fuzzy, and today he compared watching his former network with a very dangerous act.

Earlier this year, Olbermann declined to comment on an MSNBC segment, claiming he hadn’t watched the channel since 2009–when he was still hosting “Countdown.”

The sports anchor returned for a second stint at ESPN last summer, hosting “Olbermann Live” on ESPN2. Before that, he was fired by Current TV, which was eventually sold to Al Jazeera.

Keith Olbermann Explains How His Shingles Makes Him a ‘Danger to Humanity’

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann explained his infrequent hosting as of late on Thursday’s “Olbermann,” telling his audience the effects of his shingles medicine is making him a “danger to humanity.”

“So let me tell you about shingles,” he started, explaining that the drugs he’s taking for his shingles are so strong, he didn’t feel the effects of breaking a ceramic, glass wall fixture with his head.

“I can play through the pain, I can play through the drugs, I can play through the limp,” he continued, but revealed there’s one thing he can’t play through: the drugs screwing up his sleep.

MSNBC’s Craig Melvin and ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak Welcome First Child

MelvinMSNBC weekend anchor Craig Melvin and his wife, ESPN anchor Lindsay Czarniak, welcomed their first child into the world Monday morning.

Delano Joseph Melvin, or “Del”, comes in at 6lbs, 2 ounces.

And apparently, Melvin and his son are already talking to each other.

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Keith Olbermann Explains ESPN Absence

Keith Olbermann was off-air last night for ESPN, and took to Twitter today to explain.

Olbermann then linked falling on the wrong side of the all-important A25-54 demo to his health woes. Read more

Keith Olbermann: ‘I’ll Always Deliver What an Employer Wants’

keith-olbermann_lAs Keith Olbermann settles into his new role at ESPN, he gives an introspective interview to GQ. Olbermann — who says he would like to change his reputation for contentious exits — gets a shot in at one of his former employers while considering his identity:

I don’t think there are huge divergences between my personality and what they see on TV. And I think that’s why I have been gainfully employed doing this. I’ll always deliver what an employer wants. At some point they decide the result is more trouble than they want, or they convince themselves that they have created all this success that I created for them. As in my last prominent employer at NBC, which they’re learning that perhaps they were wrong about that. In my pre-introspective life, the idea that I had that script in front of me meant a profound difference. It allowed me to say what I wanted to say and be who I wanted to be.

Larry King To Guest-Host Keith Olbermann’s ESPN2 Show

KingOlbFormer CNN host Larry King will be able to add yet another line on his resume next month: ESPN host. King will be filling in for Keith Olbermann on his 11 PM show on ESPN 2 next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Olbermann will be covering the Major League Baseball playoffs for TBS during that time. King will be a guest on Friday’s edition of the program as well.

“I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King in a statement. “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.”

Other guest-hosts during Olbermann’s absence will include Jeremy Schaap and Colin Cowherd.

King is a noted sports fan, particularly of baseball, which will surely be one of the big sports stories of the day when he guest-hosts. After he left CNN, King pitched MLB Network on a new show, where he could serve as “Bob Costas West.”

Keith Olbermann Gets Meta For First Edition Of New ESPN2 Show

Last night, “Olbermann” debuted just after 11 PM on ESPN2, following live coverage of the US Open. It marked a return to nightly television for Keith Olbermann, the former anchor for MSNBC, Current TV and, yes, ESPN, who had been off the air since a very public split from Current last year.

It was also a return to the Olbermann of the 90′s, with a lighthearted tone and a focus on sports. Yes, “Worst Persons in the World” was there, as was a long monologue about the New York Jets, a topic close to this writer’s heart, but it was decidedly unlike his politics and news programs.

Olbermann also got meta, playing old clips from his first run at ESPN, and talking a good deal about the state of sports journalism. No, the ESPN/”Frontline” controversy didn’t come up, but he did talk about a NY Daily News item about the Jets that he felt was drummed up in the name of controversy.

“We need somebody watching the watchers,” his first guest Jason Whitlock said. “It needs to happen to us, so we have more empathy for the celebrities that we are covering.”

“Every reporter should spend one day as the only story in the world,” Olbermann responded.

He would know.

WATCH:

Keith Olbermann: Politics ‘pretty much burned out of me’

Tonight at 11 PM, Keith Olbermann returns to the nightly TV beat, with a new show on ESPN2. It also marks a return to ESPN and the world of sports for Olbermann, who has spent the better part of 10 years in the world of politics at MSNBC and Current TV.

According to James Andrew Miller in the NY Times, he doesn’t seem inclined to go back.

“No, I won’t miss politics,” he said. “My understanding of my own emotions relative to politics was really clarified in the past year. I was invited on ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos.’ I did it twice, and they invited me on many more times. We talked about doing it on a regular basis, but I found myself coming up with really bad excuses to not do it, like my dog needs my attention. I finally figured out I just didn’t like the subject matter anymore.

“If you cover politics for eight years without interruption like I did, you need a change,” he said. “After all, we retire our presidents after eight years. Why you should make anybody cover our political system beyond that is a mystery to me. It was pretty much burned out of me.”

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ESPN Ombudsman: Trailer For ‘Frontline’ Doc A Catalyst For Channel Dropping Out

The bombshell news late last week that ESPN would be pulling out of a PBS “Frontline” documentary on concussions in the NFL continues. The latest comes from ESPN’s ombudsman, Robert Lipsyte, as well as Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch, who each shed new light on the situation.

Lipsyte talks to ESPN president John Skipper, who says it was a trailer for the doc that was the catalyst for the decision to drop out of the project (watch the trailer below).

He hadn’t seen the trailer or approved its content, which included the ESPN logo and a collaboration credit. He thought it was “odd for me not to get a heads up,” and said it made him “quite unhappy” to discover that ESPN had no editorial control over the trailer.

Upon screening it, Skipper said he found the trailer to be “sensational.” He particularly objected to the tagline — “Get ready to change the way you see the game” — and to the final sound bite in the piece, from neuropathologist Ann McKee. Referring to brain injuries, she says, “I’m really wondering if every single football player doesn’t have this.”

Skipper said he found that comment to be “over the top.”

Lipsyte also reports that Skipper talked to Disney CEO Bob Iger and lawyers at both companies before pulling out of the project.

In SI, Deitsch looks at what comes next for the book League of Denial, which the “Frontline” doc is based on, and which was written by two brothers… who are ESPN investigative reporters.
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