Will the curse of ITV strike yet again for miserable England?

The Rio Report

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ITV presenter Adrian Chiles mocked for ‘face palm’ Rio faux pas

Almost every conceivable reason has already been cited as to why England suffered two opening defeats in their miserable World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Everything from the conditions to the Premier League to the backroom staff - oh, and of course the presence of every player who did or did not play - has been noted in various column inches and English pubs.

But one factor that has not been given sufficient prominence is the curse of ITV, which has yet again blighted England at a major tournament.

That's right: history has shown that the Three Lions have failed to win eight of their last 11 first-round group games shown on the channel.

No, this really is not Adrian Chiles's fault: it is just something that has happened time and again at an international tournament. When England have played at the World Cup on the commercial broadcasting channel, their record has been worse than indifferent.

[ENGLAND FAILURE LEAVES HODGSON LOOKING TO YOUNGSTERS]

[SUBLIME SUAREZ LEAVES ENGLAND'S DREAM IN TATTERS]

[PRESENTER CHILES MOCKED FOR 'FACE PALM' FAUX PAS]

[BBC OR ITV: WHO HAS THE BEST WORLD CUP TEAM ON TV?]

[ITV SHOCKED AS KEY PUNDIT KEANE PULLS OUT]

Indeed, England's prospects are greatly improved if they are having a match televised by the BBC instead.

ITV have broadcast 11 World Cup group stage games since the 1982 World Cup, with just three wins, six draws and two defeats - the latest of which was the crushing 2-1 downer against Uruguay.

But when the national team has been on the BBC, they have a considerably better record with eight wins out of 12. One of their two defeats was the 2-1 loss against Italy in Manaus, but even that was hailed as one of the most impressive displays by an England team for years.

Since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, ITV have shown just one knockout tie exclusively without sharing a match with the BBC. The result? A heartbreaking defeat on penalties to Argentina in 1998.

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England have been an embarrassment – and Roy Hodgson must quit

The curse was not broken but made all the worse by the devastating defeat by Luis Suarez's Uruguay in Sao Paulo, but will it be finally ended against Costa Rica?

Given the form of the Central American outfit, who have started with incredible wins over both Italy and Uruguay, it may well be regarded as unlikely.

Certainly, the beleaguered Roy Hodgson will not have been remotely happy to see which channel would be broadcasting his side's effectively meaningless salvage-some-pride final fixture. Will the curse strike yet again?

[RIO REPORT: MORE WORLD CUP CONTENT FROM BRAZIL]

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