World Cup Insider - ITV's early problems but viewers still tune in

First published in Sport

THE ITV crew on the Copacabana beach were targeted by protestors on opening night of the finals – raising fears that they will continue.

Presenter Adrian Chiles – almost struck with a glass bottle - and pundits Lee Dixon, Patrick Vieira and Fabio Cannavaro were in the glass-fronted studio in Rio De Janeiro when trouble flared beneath them.

Rio was just one of many cities across the country affected, including Sao Paulo and Bel Horizonte were there were a degree of clashes with police. More than 1,000 protestors marched through Rio, although mainly peaceful, except for when many arrived at the spot below the ITV Studio.

IT was not the best of starts for ITV. Before being pelted with bricks and bottles, their online service stopped working as Brazil’s Neymar scored a penalty.

Furious viewers have let it be known that they missed the crucial moment, which put the Brazilians 2-1 up in the second half, because ITV Player’s live coverage cut out at least twice after half-time.

ITV were also forced to apologise four years ago when it missed England’s first World Cup goal against the United States. On that occasion ITV showed a car advert instead.

The problems did not affect the number of people turning over to watch the action unfold on opening night. An average audience of 8.2m watched the whole opening ceremony from 7pm and that peaked at 12.5m at around 9.30pm.

The opening game of the World Cup understandably had an impact on the rest of the night’s viewing. Celebrity Masterchef drew in 3.5m at 8pm, 2.8m watched a Mrs Brown’s Boys repeat and 2.2m put on Question Time.

THE Brazil World Cup is expected to be the biggest one so far to involve social media – and the early indications are that such expectations will ring true.

It has been revealed that there were 12.2m tweets related to the opening game between Brazil and Croatia. Those posts were spread across 150 countries and among the most shared was one from Eden Hazard congratulating Chelsea team-mate Oscar for scoring in the hosts’ win.

Facebook recorded highs too for a football game. There were 58m people having more than 140m interactions centred on the opening game.

A LITTLE insight in to the finances involved in players representing their country at this World Cup came to light yesterday.

In reports emanating from Africa, it has been suggested that clubs receive $2,800 (around £1,600) a day for players making their country’s final 23-man squad for Brazil.

The revelations have come from Orlando Pirates, who are expecting to receive somewhere in the region of that figure for seeing goalkeeper Fatau Dauda head for South America with Ghana.

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