World Cup 2010: The Big Draws6/07/2010 07:29:00 AM Eastern
Much like March Madness, no one knows which minnows
will take out the whales and which favorites will fall by the
wayside, but the first round of the World Cup promises to
have some major ratings draws. Following is a look at the
dates on which the networks will be expecting big things.
SOUTH AFRICA VS. MEXICO
The networks get a dream matchup for the
World Cup opener as massive draw Mexico
takes on host South Africa in what should be a
spectacle on and off the field.
ENGLAND VS. U.S.
This should be the most-watched soccer match
in U.S. television history. England has a massive
following in America, and the hype machine
will be on full speed for this high-profile affair.
ITALY VS. PARAGUAY
A first look for U.S. fans at defending champ Italy.
BRAZIL VS. KOREA DPR
Always one of the biggest draws of the tournament
for both hard-core soccer and mainstream
sports fans, Brazil comes in having left behind
one of its biggest guns, Ronaldinho.
ARGENTINA VS. KOREA
REPUBLIC (SOUTH KOREA)
Argentina is picked by many experts to win the
World Cup and is coached by a walking reality
show, former superstar Diego Maradona.
SLOVENIA VS. U.S.
A game the Americans should win—and that is
not a statement made often in a World Cup.
ENGLAND VS. ALGERIA
If the Brits lose to the “Yanks” in the opening match, you may actually be able to see the
English players’ throats constricting prior to
BRAZIL VS. IVORY COAST
ABC and Univision share the spoils in what
could be the most high-energy and end-to-end
matchup of the first round.
MEXICO VS. URUGUAY AND
FRANCE VS. SOUTH AFRICA
Two big matchups on the same day featuring
two teams that most American-born soccer
fans love to hate: arch-rivals Mexico and
France. The latter qualified for the World
Cup over the popular Irish team thanks to a
goal that came after a French player basically
picked up the ball and threw it back onto the
field, unbeknownst to the referee.
SLOVENIA VS. ENGLAND AND
U.S. VS. ALGERIA
It is widely expected that England and the
U.S. will advance out of their group on this
day. If England does not, we’ll be treated
to some of the most wonderful newspaper
headlines you can imagine from across the
PORTUGAL VS. BRAZIL
On paper, the most high-octane matchup of
the first round, featuring two of the elite teams
in the world and several of the game’s most
marketable international stars.
THE REST OF THE
ROUND OF 16 BEGINS