Hispanics A Driving Force in Soccer Ratings

The numbers are in and they are HUGE!
The USA-Portugal match on Sunday delivered drama and viewership for both ESPN and Univision. According to ESPN, the match peaked during the final 30 minutes of telecast between 7:30-8:00 pm ET when 22 million plus were watching. Univision’s numbers are staggering as they report yesterday as their highest rated USA match ever.  Philly.com indicates viewership records were “either matched or beaten this weekend”. Keep in mind this does not include the thousands of viewers at the outdoor viewing events and bars across the country. If there were a way to track that, well, my guess is they would approach NFL numbers.
The numbers are both surprising and not surprising. The U.S. national team playing on a Sunday evening, East Coast time, made it easier viewing for those in that time zone. Even with a 3 pm kickoff on the West Coast, a Sunday afternoon of soccer made for ideal viewing. Naturally, the ratings for an event of the World Cup’s magnitude should see this level, but in America? That’s big news.
Wonder why?
The growth of the Hispanic population in America.

This cannot be underestimated. Soccer (futbol) is part of many Hispanic (Latino) cultures around the world. As many Hispanics immigrate to America, the passion for the sport comes with them. It spans the generations. For me, born and raised here, I’m more of a first generation soccer fan. But, I’ve already passed it down to my oldest son. It’s become part of us. I will cheer on the U.S. all day long. But, I will cheer on Mexico and other CONCACAF teams too. I’m not alone. Children of immigrants who are raised here are exposed to a bi-cultural sports view. They cheer on the USMNT as much as they cheer El Tri. And, judging by Univision’s numbers, they’re tuning in.


All of these numbers bode well for Fox Sports and Telemundo for 2018. They’ll have four years to learn from what ESPN and Univision have done as to how best to present the tournament (i.e. announcers, feature stories, social media). They’ll be faced with the challenge of the time zone difference in Russia, but soccer fans will follow. Especially when national pride is on the line. Fans will watch.

In droves.
Well, that is if the United States plays like they did yesterday against Portugal.
I still can’t believe it…30 seconds left.

CadChica Sports

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