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Since the advent of the MLB Network, TWWL can show all the girly Euro men flopping onto the field that they want. I won't waste a minute of my life on that nonsense.
But, haven't we been hearing this claim for 20+ years? Every time Team USA doesn't #### the bed in an international competition (World Cup, Olympics, etc) they say that "THIS TIME SOCCER IS HERE TO STAY!!!!" and it still hasn't really made a dent.
But how many people watch ads on their personal devices, and how is that likely to affect the amount of money that corporations pour into promoting the sport in between the World Cup and the Olympics?
Shooty, not sure if that is satire or not
The television rights for soccer are rapidly increasing, though that may just be a function of the sports rights bubble (if you believe this to be a thing). NBC was happy enough with their EPL viewership, I'd say. It defies reality to argue soccer's popularity hasn't grown here over the last 10 years but I'd agree it hasn't "taken off" the way it gets hyped every 4 years. It's been a steady increase, though. Soccer bars in New York are getting more and more crowded. Cities are fighting for MLS franchises. CNNSI and ESPN are in some kind of cold war to attract readership to their soccer pages. I saw a kid in a Jose Bosingwa shirt the other day which would be the equivalent of a kid in Belgium wearing a Willie Bloomquist jersey. It was weird! Soccer is just part of the sporting landscape in America now.
I think the evidence is pretty strong that soccer is doing very well in this country. It may just be a changing demographic but simply looking at the TV contracts is a pretty good sign. As has been noted by others if "success" is only defined as being as big as the four majors then yeah, it's not successful (though hockey is far from a sure thing ahead of it) but soccer has certainly moved into the second tier of spectator sports. We are passed the time when we had to question if a major soccer league could be viable in the US. That's a step in the right direction for soccer.
But again, take away the nationalism of the World Cup and the Olympics, and the U.S. audience quickly gets reduced to hard core soccer fans, of which there simply aren't that many.
Thursday’s US vs. Germany matched averaged a 6.7 US household rating and 10,771,000 viewers, making it the second highest-rated, and third most-viewed, men’s World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2 ever. ESPN’s highest-rated World Cup match – a 9.6 US HH rating for the 2014 USA vs. Portugal contest on Sunday, June 22 – is also the most-viewed soccer match across all US television networks, averaging 18,220,000 viewers.
Does ESPN still go wall to wall with WC coverage when FOX carries it in 4 years? We see how they pretend the NHL doesn't exist now that they don't broadcast games.
Yeah, but when the MLS cup final starts matching the NBA final's ratings, let me know.
There is plenty of room in Americans' discretionary spending to support both. At least for now, both sports have essentially the same calendar so they are in some competition for those dollars. (There is a chance that soccer would switch to the "international calendar" which would make an article like this a lot less relevant.) But the anecdotal evidence suggests that the MLS games are a lot more friendly for the pre-teen children than the MLB ones. If nothing else, the parents are probably going to appreciate the 120 minute game vs. the 180 minute one.
I might still be making a post on an internet baseball message board if I didn't attend MLB games as a kid.
If soccer (MLS) displaces one of the major four, it will be hockey
Thursday’s US vs. Germany matched averaged a 6.7 US household rating and 10,771,000 viewers
Well that finally gives you a accurate number on how many illegal immigrants are in the USA.
I suspect we can support five "major" sports.
When the 2014 World Cup concludes, soccer isn’t going to disappear the way it typically has.
One thing's beyond argument: The "elite" media** in recent years have pushed soccer like no other sport in history. Even the most tiresome tributes to baseball's "poetry" and "lack of a clock" by the likes of George Will and Doris Kearns Goodwin pale by comparison to all the BS spewed about the "beautiful" game in those footnoted media outlets. Half these articles read like a love declaration written by a moonlighting Hallmark writer to a Playboy centerfold he'd met on a blind date, and if I were a real soccer fan I'd be embarrassed to read them.
I would think that if soccer is going to take away from anybody, it's from College and Pro Football's TV viewership, for the simple reason that most club games (La Liga, Calcio, Premier League, Bundesliga) are played on Saturday or Sunday, during U.S. daylight hours.
you've still got a game where scoring is a rarity, individual showcase skills are minimized (you can't even use your ####### hands), and there's every bit as much BS (the flopping) as there is in basketball or football. It's not the sort of sport that has a whole lot of U.S. mass appeal outside the context of a sublimated World War III.
This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: "2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0." Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: "1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0."
I wonder what effect the fact that MLS is not the league where the best players in the world play has an effect on its popularity in the US. I wonder what type of ratings the Champions League gets. Perhaps that is a better reflection of the popularity of the sport.
It's my hunch that these sort of stylistic analyses of sports and national character are mostly or entirely post hoc reasoning.
Soccer is the top sport in Poland, in Spain, in Uruguay, in Malaysia, in Malawi - do these countries share some sort of cultural trait that America does not?
One thing's beyond argument: The "elite" media** in recent years have pushed soccer like no other sport in history.
It might have been Posnanski who did this, but someone imagining a world where we loved soccer but hated baseball/football created a great post hoc rationalization as to why Soccer was intensely American and Baseball/Football were not. It convinced me.
I don't understand why the MLS Cup Final is being used as a sort of proxy for the US' interest in soccer.
I don't remember where I saw this suggested, but moving the PK back to a distance where it is not a near-automatic goal would be a good way to fix this. You could still have some sort of NBA-style "clear path" penalty where, if the penalty prevents a near certain goal, the current PK line is used.
If nothing else, the parents are probably going to appreciate the 120 minute game vs. the 180 minute one.
After all the World Cup shouting is over, you've still got a game where scoring is a rarity, individual showcase skills are minimized (you can't even use your ####### hands), and there's every bit as much BS (the flopping) as there is in basketball or football.
Yeah, but when the MLS cup final starts matching the NBA final's ratings, let me know.
Okay, well you let me know when they quit fixing NBA games and we'll be even then.
Shouldn't you multiply those touchdowns per game by 2 for a fair comparison?
Did the complexity of the math confuse you? With your numbers I get 4.8 touchdowns per game.
It's tedious and silly.
I suspect that the blatant and excessive flopping is at least some part of the reason why LeBron is one of the most hated megastar athletes in recent American sports history.
Soccer still has some work to do to convince the degenerate how to work the matches into their weekend parlay or fantasy game.
No, LeBron complains a lot on foul calls and non-calls, but he doesn't flop a lot.
Disregarding safeties and field goals is a feature, not a bug.
A precise, public clock that stops every 8 seconds or a private one that pretty much doesn't stop?
I think the NFL and NBA have huge problems going forward with how their clock plays out at the ends of games (and halves to a lesser extent). It's tedious and silly.
What, exactly, is the problem with the way soccer does it?
Whu? You can literally text UK bookies with in-game bets on every aspect of a match.
But why not a precise public one that pretty much doesn't stop?
The point about doubling the average TDs per game is a good one.
There is no explanation why the particular amount of time is added, so the refs aren't held accountable for it.
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