The convergence of social media, broadband technology and HD transmissions means that soccer, more than any other sport, is perfect for this Internet age. It’s a sport that’s 24/7, 365 days of the year. It’s unlike any other pastime.
Due to soccer’s popularity worldwide, a day doesn’t go by when there isn’t a game being played somewhere in the world. The Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga are just a few of the leagues that are played from August through May. There are leagues who play through the summer such as Major League Soccer. Plus there are pre-season friendly tours which typically begin in July, as well as a plentitude of friendlies and international tournaments to fill up the calendar.
Contrast that with other major sports, and you’ll notice big holes in their calendars:
- National Football League: September through early to the first week in February,
- National Basketball Association: October through April,
- National Hockey League: October through April,
- Major League Baseball: April through October,
- College football: September through January.
What this means is that many of the major sports in the United States are dormant. NFL is dormant for seven months of the year, NBA, MLB and NHL for five months, while college football is only played for five of the 12 months of the year.
Looking at the calendar year, the European soccer calendar is often quiet in June and July. But this summer we have Copa America (and for soccer fans in CONCACAF, the Gold Cup). Next summer we have the Euro 2012 tournament. In 2013, it’ll be the Confederations Cup. And in 2014, it’ll be the next World Cup. The calendar constantly is kept busy even during times of the year when you would think that the sport would grind to a halt.
Even during the hours or days when soccer games are not prevalent, the constant chatter among soccer fans on social media and the Internet about the sport and their favorite teams is deafening. While there’s a ton of action on the pitch, there’s even more that happens off the pitch whether it’s the discussion, drama, gossip, transfer news or analysis of the beautiful game.
In a day and age where sports fans seem to be more passionate about their favorite pastime than ever before, soccer is the one that delivers the greatest quantity consistently throughout the year.
There’s also the benefit of the game being just 90 minutes and action-packed with no commercial breaks (other than half-time), unlike other major sports.