Yes, I’m still catching up on stuff from June! One reason I haven’t blogged much is I found myself watching soccer almost every night most weeks, between the Gold Cup, the Copa America, U-20 World Cup, USWNT Friendlies, and the MLS. Apparently I wasn’t the only one:
NEW YORK (AP) — The CONCACAF Gold Cup final attracted 41 percent more television households in the United States than the Stanley Cup finals clincher — and that was just for the soccer game’s Spanish-language telecast.
The United States’ 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Mexico on Sunday received a 2.5 fast national rating on Univision, the network said Tuesday. That translates to 2.83 million households, nearly double the 1.48 million homes that watched the 2005 Gold Cup final between the United States and Panama.
This year’s English-language telecast was on the Fox Soccer Channel, which is available in about 30 million homes and is not rated.
Anaheim’s series-ending 6-2 victory over Ottawa in the Stanley Cup on June 6 received a 1.8 rating on NBC, which comes to 2,005,000 households.
Emphasis mine. I didn’t realize that Fox Soccer Channel was unrated by Nielsen. So the last game of the NHL finals drew at best half the viewers that the Gold Cup final did, assuming 1.17 million viewers tuned into FSC’s English language broadcast. I don’t think that’s a stretch to assume.
Of course, before you get TOO excited, CNN reports that Posh Spice (aka Victoria Beckham) and her ‘Welcome to L.A.’ special drew almost 5 million viewers. This made it the #3 show in the time slot, which to CNN’s astute writers, means it was ‘barely watched’. It gets better. In CNN’s view, even after the media circus that surrounded the arrival of the Beckham’s in America, it was necessary to include this quote from a clearly uninformed St. Louis Dispatch reporter:
Gail Pennington of the St Louis Post-Dispatch wrote: "To the Brits, they are Posh and Becks. To most Americans they’re — who?"
Had Gail and the CNN copy writer only read a recent article at, you guessed it, CNN (albeit the financial section), they would have found that 51.9% of American’s know who David Beckham is. That’s more than those who knew Mia Hamm (48%) and Landon Donovan (9.1% – Ouch). Sorry Landon.
Does anyone really believe there isn’t a media bias against soccer in America? When even the Beckham’s can’t seem to get positive spin from the entertainment media, you know soccer still has a long way to go in America’s media complex.
Adding: I forgot to mention, as we talk about ratings. Hats off to ESPN for making the last minute decision to put the U-20 World Cup USA v. Brazil match on ESPN proper in addition to ESPNU. Granted, it supposedly preempted the broadcast of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship, but we’ll take what we can get. That was probably the most exciting US Soccer match I had seen since the ‘Summer of Soccer’ in America began. My only complaint was the replay tech who didn’t realize the move that Freddy Adu made in the corner was the highlight of the goal his pass resulted in. Oh well. Small steps.