Big Ratings, Little Money From World Cup
ESPN and Univision executives indicated on Wednesday that while their World Cup coverage produced record ratings, it did not produce a profit. Joe Uva, president and chief executive of Univision, told Bloomberg/BusinessWeek "The benefit is we get to keep those viewers after the Cup is over." During a recent conference call, Scott Gulielmino of ESPN said, "For us, as we continue to grow our business, being involved with marquee events of that level is absolutely valuable." Producing a profit from the telecasts not only is made difficult by the huge payments for broadcasting rights -- the two networks paid $425 million for 2010 and 2014 -- but also by the very nature of the sport itself, the article observed. "Soccer," it noted, "is not the most ad-friendly of sports" given the fact that its 45-minute periods run mostly without interruption, making it difficult to run commercials during the action.