Globo hits the back of the net with 92% share

Exhibs feel soccer fever pinch

RIO DE JANEIRO — It’s small screen versus bigscreen in the battle for World Cup eyeballs in Brazil — and TV is winning big time.

The country’s No. 1 net TV Globo, which has exclusive Cup rights for terrestrial TV here, racked up an astonishing 92% average share between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. when Brazil beat Australia 2-0 on June 18. That was an improvement on Brazil’s opening match against Croatia on June 13, which had an average share of 90%.

This makes the $83 million Globo paid for the rights seem like a good deal, particularly as the team is favorite to win the tourney, which ends July 9, so the web’s advertising bonanza should continue for awhile.

Of the pay TV nets showing matches, ESPN Brasil (the local, Portuguese-language version of the net) reports daily average auds up 220% since the Cup started on June 9. During match transmissions, that rises to 400% by comparison to its usual performance.

But if the nets with Cup rights are cheering, their rivals — and cinema chains — have little to celebrate.

In the previous, 2002 Cup, played in Japan and South Korea, matches aired late at night or very early in the morning, and the impact was smaller.

The four pics that led the June 11 ranking — “The Da Vinci Code,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Scary Movie 4” and “The Omen” — saw auds fall 70% on June 18 when Brazil played Australia.

Some exhibs simply shuttered during this match, while others aired the game for free.

Even “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties,” which led the June 16-18 weekend with ticket sales of 258,443 and B.O. of $919,000, saw auds drop 65% on June 18.

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