World Cup fever has swept the United States in the past few weeks. Everywhere you look, it seems to be there. In fact, Nielsen is reporting that World Cup soccer telecasts aired on all English and Spanish language networks have reached an estimated 34% of all U.S. TV viewers. That’s an incredible number when you consider how large the population is in the United States.
According to Nielsen, viewers in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market are watching the World Cup more than any other market in the country. Through Tuesday, Miami has the highest ratings for both English language (3.6 HH rating) and Spanish language (5.2 HH rating) World Cup telecasts.
New York City has the second highest ratings for English language telecasts (3.3 HH rating), followed by Washington, DC (3.2 HH rating). San Diego, which was the top rated English language market in 2006, ranks fourth so far this year with a 3.1 average household rating.
Interestingly, when you look at the highest ranked local markets in the US for World Cup TV ratings, only 50% of the top ten Spanish-language markets have a Major League Soccer team, while only 60% of the top ten English-language markets have a MLS team.
In related news, out of the 18 cities selected for inclusion in the USA bid for the 2018/2022 World Cup tournaments, Miami was this week the first city out of the 18 to surpass 50,000 signatures. In comparison, the supposed soccer mad city of Seattle only has 34,000 votes. The complete list of 18 bid cities can be found at www.gousabid.com/city