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Why World Cup TV Ratings Are So Strong

Time Magazine today as an article on its website with the above title. Typically blogicle-type reporting: start with some facts, skip over some fundamental facts (that don’t help the argument one is trying to build) and attribute the premise to a stretch-thought.

In this case the premise is that World Cup TV ratings in America are strong because:

  1. ESPN did a great job of marketing the event. To quote: “if you have arguably the number one sports brand telling you this is important, the numbers are going to trend in a higher direction.” Guess we aren’t smart enough to know we might like watching the event without ESPN telling us how important it is.
  2. Globalization: since Americans are suddenly realizing we are part of a global marketplace, there is more interest in how different countries do in such an event.
  3. U.S.-England rivalry. Yes, this is epic.   [Not!]

Balderdash! How about the following?

  1. The American population is more diverse now than it was just several years ago.
  2. Soccer features constant activity, constant motion. The Wall Street Journal had an article in January breaking down a typical NFL footbal game and showing that there is only about 11 minutes of actual playing time during the 3 hour broadcast. Other news organizations picked up on this. Here, here and here for example.
  3. Soccer features no commercials and [more importantly] no commercial mid-game timeouts. See point above: NFL game typically have alomst an hour of commercials. And if you’ve ever been to a football game, there’s nothing more frustrating than freezing your butt off waiting for the TV guy to signal the commercials are over.
  4. Soccer features great athletes in great shape (no fat people), making at times some ridiculously athletic moves.

But this doesn’t translate into popularity on a regular sustainable level in America at present (given the significant growth of the Asian and Hispanic demographics in America, that may change in the next few decades). Why not? Americans love commercials, I guess. We need that rapid-fire changing of cameras and camera angles to make things more like action-adventure movies, I guess. We need endless streams of slow motion replays from every conceivable angle to scream at, I guess. We need to feel better about ourselves watching highly-paid out-of-shape guys standing around, I guess.

But really I guess we need ESPN to tell us what’s important.

  • ????

    superb article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks.

  • **

    Great article . Will definitely apply it to my website

  • semdiy

    Very good, learned…

  • NICK BONANTO

    I have to admit you hit the nail on the head with that one. Good Point! If You Want to Watch The Africa World Cup 2010 Online Visit -> http://www.africaworldcup.tv