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Picks and Pans Main: Tube

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The coverage of World Cup soccer has been one of those Goldilocks declinations: Too hot…too cold…just right. For the Spanish-language channel Univision, the only outlet to televise all 52 matches, this has been an event gigante. Its style has been manic, punctuated by Andrés Cantor’s now-famous, wounded-bull war cry: “Gooooooalllll!!!” ABC, with a select schedule of 11 games, has put a curiously bland, featureless face on the Cup, even dulling down the July 4th face-off between the U.S. and Brazil.(By assigning second-line announcers Roger Twibell and Al Trautwig, the network signaled its essential disinterest in soccer.) Only ESPN, with 41 matches, has done the Cup proud, profiting from enthusiastic announcers (particularly Jim Donovan), better camera work, helpful graphics and crafty direction.