Tuesday, June 26, 2012

American TV ratings soar for Euros

Paul Kennedy of Soccer America reports on the outstanding ratings here in the United States for the 2012 European Championships.

Sunday's Euro 2012 quarterfinal between Italy and England drew the highest rating yet on ESPN: a 2.4 overnight rating. That's an increase of 50 percent from the Spain-Italy game at the same stage four years.

How does the Italy-England overnight rating compare? The rating for ESPN's New York Yankees-Mets game the same evening was only 2.7.

ESPN has enjoyed solid numbers through the tournament. Through the 24 matches in the group stage, ESPN’s live coverage averaged 1,002,000 viewers -- up 82 percent compared to the group stage matches in 2008.

The top 10 metered markets through the group stage include: New York (1.6), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (1.6), Providence (1.3), Los Angeles (1.2), Washington, DC (1.2), Richmond, Va. (1.1), Atlanta (1.1), San Francisco (1.0), Jacksonville (1.0), and Austin, Texas (1.0).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mariner to lead Toronto FC

Paul Mariner has paid his dues as a player and coach, so I was excited to learn on Thursday that Toronto FC announced that Mariner will become the club's seventh head coach in franchise history.

The longtime New England Revolution assistant Mariner now takes the reins, as TFC return to action on June 16 at Sporting Kansas City before playing in Houston against the Dynamo on June 20.

"At the present moment, we've just got to try to change things a little bit," Mariner said. "Only a few minor adjustments need to be made, in my viewpoint. We've got a lot of work to do starting this week. Two very, very big games and very important games. You've just go to wait and see what happens. We're going to get results, it's just that simple."

Mariner was an assistant to head coach Steve Nicol for the Revolution's glory days from 2004-09, helping the Revs to three straight MLS Cup appearances between 2005-07. The Revolution qualified for the postseason every year Mariner was on the bench during his time on the job before he left to manage English Championship side Plymouth Argyle in 2009.

He returned to MLS during Toronto FC's overhaul in January 2011, named to his position as director of player development the same day Winter was named head coach.

"I'm a very modest man, but I've got unbelievable confidence in my own ability," Mariner said. "I know exactly what I'm doing in training this week. I know exactly what the team will be next weekend, barring injuries, I know how we're going to play. It's almost written what's going to occur. … I can't wait to get started."