By Alan Pergament
If local TV ratings are any indication, Western New Yorkers have caught World Cup Fever.
The United States' dramatic 2-1 victory over Ghana in its opening game of the tournament Monday evening had a 6.5 local rating on cable's ESPN.
To put that in perspective, the rating from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. was higher than the local ratings for two Stanley Cup finals games between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers that were carried on NBC's cable sports network later in the evening when more viewers are available. (The three Stanley Cup finals games on NBC had higher ratings.)
The soccer rating also was higher than the local ratings for all of the NBA Finals games except Sunday night's clincher by San Antonio over Miami.
And it was higher than the weekend ratings for the U.S. Open golf tournament.
However, soccer didn't beat everything. The local and national news ratings on Channel 2 and Channel 4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. were higher.
And it couldn't beat Channel 4's dominant syndicated pairing of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The final 45 minutes of the U.S. victory had ratings of 9.0 or higher. And that didn't count all the soccer fans watching the games in bars across the area.
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