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).