Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Next Time A Grumpy Sports Columnist Complains About World Cup

You know the grumpy columnist?  The one who says that soccer is stupid, and unamerican, and asks why ESPN forcing a country who doesn't like soccer to watch it?  

Tell them that those ideas have been proven wrong, through the magic of money, ratings, and success beyond the dreams of the broadcasters.  Richard Sandomir in the New York Times writes below.  (And bear in mind, as Sandomir mentions elsewhere, that next World Cup will be held in Brazil, and will be a prime time event for most of the US)

Through 52 games, ESPN’s average viewership is up 58 percent to 2.86 million; Univision’s is 2.1 million, up nearly 9 percent. Figure, then, that about five million are watching the games, comparable to the N.B.A. playoffs, excluding the finals, and the Stanley Cup finals. And, as Master said, the games have all been shown in daytime in the United States.
“If you consider that, the World Cup numbers are fantastic,” Master said.
ESPN executives say there are various signposts of the South African World Cup’s success: a 28 percent increase from 2006 in ratings for games not including the United States team; a 38 percent jump in the rating for men 18 to 49; and a 29 percent increase in ratings in Hispanic households, which does not seem to have hurt Univision.

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