THE SIDELINES : U.S. Soccer Barely Scores on TV

From Times Wire Services

The United States' 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 19 was a success for America on the field, but hardly anyone noticed on television.

The game, in which the U.S. team advanced to its first World Cup since 1950, got just a 0.8 rating and a 2 share, according to ESPN, the cable network that televised the match on a two-hour tape-delay basis.

The rating is the percentage of sets in the United States tuned to the game. The share is the percentage of those sets on at the time that are tuned in to the event.

Mike Soltys, an ESPN spokesman, said the numbers mean that approximately 432,000 sets were watching the match, the most significant for U.S. soccer in 40 years. The game was opposite several live NFL broadcasts, including games involving the New York Giants, the Rams and the Raiders.

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