Spanish-language TV station KMEX Channel 34 has scored a goal of its own with its coverage of the 1990 World Cup soccer action:
KMEX Research Manager Maureen Schultz said that the station's audience has gone up 25%-50% during time periods with soccer games since the tournament began on June 8.
"I'm very pleased with the numbers," General Manager Emilio Nicolas said.
"People who have an interest in soccer, no matter how minute, no matter what language they speak, are tuning in to the World Cup on KMEX."
The station drew some of its biggest ratings of the tournament last weekend. In a 7:30 a.m. game between soccer powerhouses Argentina and Brazil on Sunday, KMEX scored a 3.2 in the Arbitron ratings, representing 12% of all the people watching television at that time.
The audience was larger than for any other program between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. except the Michigan 400 on KCBS Channel 2, which got a 3.7 rating.
KMEX estimated that 331,800 local viewers tuned in for that game, and another 424,200 watched Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 at noon. Normally, weekend soccer games on KMEX are seen by less than 100,000 viewers.
KMEX, part of the Univision network, is broadcasting 41 games and a total of more than 100 hours of soccer during the once-every-four-years Copa Mundial. The station will air all remaining games, including the finals on July 8. Tomorrow the eighth finals are on at 7:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Since the games are carried live from Italy, and often end up on TV during early morning hours, Schultz wasn't sure if people would watch. "But I was happily surprised. People are setting their alarm clocks to wake up early for games. And in restaurants around the city, I've seen the TV kept on KMEX during lunch," she said.
The June 16 lunchtime game, between Argentina and the U.S.S.R., received a 3 rating. Schultz said that the normal programming at that time is a \o7 novela, \f7 a Spanish soap opera, which would squeeze out a 2.