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ESPN Dealt Blow By Losing US, England and Mexico Soccer Fans In 48 Hours

espn 300x300 ESPN Dealt Blow By Losing US, England and Mexico Soccer Fans In 48 Hours

Not only was this a depressing weekend for supporters of England, USA, Mexico and South Korea, but the news that all four teams had been knocked out of the tournament must have come as a disappointment to ESPN and other media organizations who are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the 2010 World Cup.

That’s because three of those four nations – USA, Mexico and England – are the three most popular nations in the United States in terms of TV ratings, interest levels and connections between those countries and the residents of the USA.

Sure, we’ll get to see remarkable teams such as Germany, Argentina, Uruguay and Ghana play in the quarter-finals, among other teams, there will be a portion of those casual US, Mexico and England fans who will turn off and won’t follow the World Cup anymore. Or if they do, it’ll only be with a passing interest. For some of the supporters, the World Cup is over.

For us, though, the World Cup is just heating up and will continue to become more gripping and wonderful to watch. But not everyone has that same type of soccer DNA.

While the interest level regarding the World Cup may wane in the United States somewhat. this past weekend’s game between USA and Ghana was the most-viewed men’s World Cup ever on US television with almost 15 million viewers. This is not including Univision’s audience numbers.

To put this into perspective, that puts the audience for the United States versus Ghana game into the top 15 of all sporting events viewed on US television for 2010, year to date. Once the Univision numbers are revealed, the total viewing audience will be in the top 10 for all sporting events of 2010 (NFL and Olympics excluded).

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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12 Responses to ESPN Dealt Blow By Losing US, England and Mexico Soccer Fans In 48 Hours

  1. Fee says:

    My support for the US was two-fold. I wanted them to do well being they, while not being the most technically gifted, play with such passion and pride (You know the oppostie of England).
    And I also wanted them to do well to continue the growth of “Soccer” over here. People were getting interested, asking questions and talking about it. They made the front page of many national (and local) newspapers on more than one occasion. Here in Louisiana most people had no idea it was happening or even what it was and for me, being from London, this was baffling!!

    But I do hope that the drama of the US in this World Cup make them want to know more and maybe catch a Premier League, La Liga or MLS game every once in a while… minus the Vuvuzelas!

  2. Angry Trey says:

    I agree with your posting but there is a pretty large German following in the U.S. also.

  3. MarylandBill says:

    Germany and Spain are really the last of the Countries with professional leagues of any following in the USA that are still in it (At least to my knowledge, there aren’t many trying to follow Brazilian Soccer, but I might be wrong).

    That being said, I hope that interest remains strong in the last few weeks. Hopefully at least a few who tuned in for the games this weekend and before have caught the fever and will watch the games the same way they watch the NFL playoffs after their first choice team gets knocked out.

    One final thought, in terms of keeping national interest, maybe FIFA should think about increasing the number of first round games, and have fewer teams advance to the single elimination phase. That way, more countries will stay in the hunt for longer, keeping interest up.

  4. McBride says:

    I could definitely see Germany/Argentina and Netherlands/Brazil doing good numbers just because of the name recognition of the sides and superstars. Those games could be finals most years.

  5. Irigoyen says:

    I’m just a casual soccer fan in Texas, but the World Cup just brings out the multi-national fun of the tourney and makes it that much more interesting and enjoyable. Imagine, a sport that brings nations together!Since I’m an American that really doesn’t understand the game that well, I have a problem understanding some of the calls. In a way, I respect the games determination to keep the human error officiating as part of the game, but for U.S. fans it’s hard to accept. I personally pull for U.S.A. first and Mexico 2nd. with all other American team to follow.
    What does sadden me is our coverage of the cup. If the American loose, it was a valiant effort against all odds. If Mexico or some other Latin country loses,it was a knockout! Didn’t we learn better by calling the native american victories “Massacres” and U.S. battle victories “Historic”.
    It’s a game folks. Enjoy the skill no matter what team it is.

  6. Roel van der Vossen says:

    what about following of the Netherlands in the North East, the are after all some of the early settlers of the US (remember NYC used to be New Amsterdam)

  7. Knight says:

    Yo solo se que le robaron el juego a Inglaterra y a México!!!… :@

  8. MarkB says:

    It’s too bad that the US teams’ exit doesn’t mean the end of Lalas and his idiotic statements.

  9. Bas says:

    You’re not taking Brasil and Argentina into account. Sure there are plenty of residents/aliens living in the US that are from Mexcio and England…but I reckon the sheer popularity of Argentina and/or Brasil in the US is pretty big. Everyone here loves Brasil, just because it’s Brasil…”the world’s team” so to speak. Same with the Argies, no idea why though :p

  10. sucka99 says:

    yeah – Brazil and Argentina are big. Univision did something like 10 million on the Mexico-Argentina game with another 5 million on ESPN – which kind of mirrors the US-Ghana game with 15 million on ESPN and 4 million on Univision. The only bigger games in terms of ratings were Brazil-Italy in 1994, Brazil-US in 1994, and the Womens World Cup Final in 1999 (ABC only).

  11. mike says:

    this is the world cup u watch it every game even after ur team is out

  12. MexSoccerFan says:

    Yes, as u can see by my name, I do root for Mexico. Then I root for the countries of the Americas- north, south and central. Mexico having lost has not kept me nor my friends from watching the games with interest.

    Now there may be a lost of intensity in my viewing of the games but the polls dont count how intensely one watches the games but rather if one simply watches the games.

    Yes, we do continue to watch the games. And wait for 4 more years.

    In Houston texas

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