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World Cup watch: U.S. women's soccer popular among Buffalo viewers

This is another edition of What Is Western New York Watching:

The United States women’s soccer team’s 2-1 win over England in the semifinals of the World Cup had a 6.0 rating Tuesday on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. The rating peaked at an 8.3 at game’s end.

To put the rating in perspective, the highest-rated prime-time program Tuesday, “America’s Got Talent,” had a 4.8 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), the local NBC affiliate.

Of course, viewership for World Cup games is even higher because many area soccer fans watch games at local bars.

The team’s previous 2-1 victory over host France in the quarterfinal match of the World Cup had a 4.6 rating Friday afternoon, June 28, on WUTV (Channel 29), the local Fox affiliate. The final 45 minutes averaged a 6.7 rating.

The 4.6 rating was as high as any network prime-time program Friday, tying a repeat episode of “Blue Bloods.”

The rating for the World Cup title game Sunday morning on WUTV against the winner of today’s game between Netherlands and Sweden should be even higher.

A couple of notes on the Fox coverage of Tuesday’s win. U.S. star Alex Morgan, who scored the game-winning goal, made me laugh for using a common word for derriere in a post-game interview on Fox, quickly apologizing and substituting “butt” for the word. Somehow, I think Fox viewers who watch “Family Guy” didn’t need the correction.

You can’t accuse Fox play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and analyst Aly Wagner of being homers. They initially didn’t question whether England’s Ellen White was offsides on what appeared to be the goal that tied the game at 2 in the 67th minute.

And once they learned the goal was being reviewed, Dellacamera said: “From up here, I thought she had timed it right.” After it was it was disallowed, and Fox showed White had just mistimed her move, Wagner said: “It was tight, but it is the right call.”

Inquiring minds want to know: What was the local viewership for the first two Democratic presidential debates last week?

The average of the debates on NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) and MSNBC and on June 26 and June 27 was about equal to the average for the seven-game Stanley Cup Final won by St. Louis over Boston.

The local ratings for the third channel that televised it, Telemundo, weren’t available, but any viewership it received would add to the totals.

On the first debate night in which Elizabeth Warren was considered the main attraction of 10 candidates, Channel 2 (6.0) and MSNBC (2.5) had a combined rating of 8.5.

On the second night in which Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were considered the main attractions of 10 candidates, Channel 2 (7.9) and MSNBC (2.8) had a combined rating of 10.7.

The average rating for the two nights was 9.6, which was 0.2 ahead of the 9.4 rating for the seven games in the Stanley Cup Final carried by Channel 2 and cable’s NBCSN.

Wild News: Entercom radio has confirmed that morning personality Emily Wild is no longer with Alternative Buffalo, 107.7 FM.  Brandi Whytas has been promoted and is the solo host of the station’s morning show.

Casting News: According to a representative of St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster, sophomore Ashley Szczerbacki appears as a basketball player in three episodes of the third season of HBO’s “Divorce” this month and has a speaking role in the episode that premieres July 29.

The school representative added that Szczerbacki previously was a “Playtime Child” for Fisher Price and has had several film roles.

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