Morning Media Newsfeed: USA-Portugal Hits Highs | Isikoff Joins Yahoo! News

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18.2 Million Watch USA vs. Portugal, Most-Watched Soccer Match Ever on U.S. TV (TVNewser)
An average of 18.22 million viewers watched the USA tie Portugal (2-2) in World Cup action late Sunday afternoon on ESPN. That’s the most-watched soccer match ever on American TV and surpasses the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. TVSpy 1.3 million watched on the WatchESPN app. Washington, D.C., led all markets for the telecast with a 13.3 rating. AllFacebook The game resulted in approximately 20 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) by some 10 million Facebook users, according to the Facebook Data Science Team. In the U.S. alone, more than 4 million Facebook users were responsible for more than 7 million interactions related to the match. Financial Times An average of 24.7 million viewers watched Sunday’s performance on either ESPN or Univision, the Spanish-language network whose best football ratings have in the past often been for Mexico matches. Mashable Not only was that an all-time record for a soccer match, it also beat the average viewership for the 2013 World Series by 10 million viewers.

Yahoo! Hires Michael Isikoff as Chief Investigative Correspondent (NYT)
Michael Isikoff, the investigative reporter who recently left NBC News, is joining Yahoo! News as its chief investigative correspondent. He will start in August. FishbowlNY Isikoff will be tasked with expanding Yahoo!’s new investigative unit and be based in Washington. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Isikoff parted ways with NBC in April after four years with the network, saying that it was moving in directions that would allow “fewer opportunities” for his work. Prior to NBC, he had spent more than a decade with Newsweek. TVNewser Isikoff joins Katie Couric and Matt Bai who have recently made the leap to Yahoo! News.

Rebekah Brooks Found Not Guilty in Phone Hacking Case (NYT)
Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper holdings in Britain, was acquitted on Tuesday of charges in a high-profile phone-hacking trial, but Andy Coulson, her deputy and a onetime head of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, was found guilty on at least one charge. The verdicts, after a week of deliberations by a jury, came after lengthy hearings into a scandal at the Murdoch news empire that shook the British police, news media and political elite and forced the closure of a leading Sunday tabloid. CNN The verdict came three years after it was revealed that journalists on News of The World hacked the phone of then-missing teenager Milly Dowler in 2002, raising hopes that she was alive and checking messages, when in fact she had been murdered. The resulting public and political outrage led to the closure of the 168-year-old paper and the setting up of a public inquiry to examine journalistic ethics. The Guardian Coulson’s verdict raises immediate questions for Cameron, who hired him as director of communications only a few weeks after he quit the News of The World. Coulson has spent the last seven years denying he knew about hacking and shocked everyone bar his defense team in court when he revealed for the first time he had listened to the voicemail of former home secretary David Blunkett in 2004, three years before he was hired by Cameron.

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CNN Partners With Georgia Tech to Study Media Outlets’ Drone Use (TVNewser)
CNN and Georgia Tech are launching a joint research project to evaluate the use of drones for media organizations. The research team — staffed by senior members of CNN’s newsgathering team and researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute — will share the project’s findings with the FAA, which is currently considering drone regulations for media outlets. CNNMoney In a press release, the partners called it a “research initiative” and said they will share data with the Federal Aviation Authority “as it considers regulations that will allow for the safe and effective operation of UAVs by media outlets.” Poynter / MediaWire The program will begin this summer. The FAA’s planned rules for drone use have proceeded very slowly, even as media organizations have been ever more keen to use them. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media UAVs are being explored for all kinds of activities, from movie footage to disaster response to agricultural applications. Media outlets see drones as a less expensive way to report on fires and traffic, gather video on news and sports events, and even track celebrities. But the government currently doesn’t allow media use of drones, calling it a business purpose. In a filing with the FAA, more than a dozen media outlets argue that the ban chills free speech.