There is no question that soccer is gaining popularity in the US. However, if you look around the major US media outlets this morning, we’ve got a LONG way to go. If you’re a US Soccer fan, it isn’t very encouraging. If you’re a terrorism freak who wants ALL TERRORISM, ALL THE TIME, then the US outlets have made your day.
(UPDATE: ThroughBall has a great idea about contacting local media outlets)

Granted, this is a fairly random selection of international news sources, but I grabbed most of the major US daily news sources, both TV and Newspaper. I’m not as familiar with the international news outlets and grabbed the more popular ones I had heard of. I expected most international news outlets to have heavy coverage and the US sources to have some. What did I find? Internationally? World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! In the US? All Al-Zarqawi ALL THE TIME. Who knew one ugly dead guy who never set foot on US soil could transfix a nation.

Lets look at which media outlets are covering the World Cup ‘above the fold’ and which don’t even know it’s happening. These snapshots were taken within 2-3 hours of the first World Cup match (June 9th, 2006 16:00 GMT) I’ve highlighted the World Cup related sections in purple squares and ovals.

Al-Jazeera – Right at the top. Funny, I could never get the English version of AJ to load. Thanks NSA!

BBC News (Europe/England) – Top Story

CBS Sports – World What? One link and a headline. We’re taking the country by storm!

CNN – All Al-Zarqawi – All The Time. He’s dead already! Do we really care if he was alive for 5 minutes when our troops got there? Oh look, the World Cup gets a single link at the bottom of the main list of stories.

CNNSI – OK, since many US media outlets have sister sports sites, maybe CNN SI will have more coverage than the main site. It’s a little better with the gray teaser box in the middle. No commentary though – cause Inside Golf is burning up the pages!


The Prague Post (Czech Republic) – Well they are ranked #2 so top story.

Der Spiegel (Germany) – Sure, Germany is hosting, but you gotta like this. All World Cup!

Die Welt (Germany) – You’d think the World Cup was in Germany or something. Heck even the ads are World Cup related.

ESPN – Before you get all excited – don’t forget ESPN is carrying all the cup matches, so they have a vested interest. Still – kudos to ESPN for carrying them all with full saturation coverage.

Fox NewsAll Terrorism All The Time. BE AFRAID! BE AFRAID! The SKY IS FALLING! You get one tiny link.

Globe & Mail (Canada) – Gee – you’d think there was a huge sporting event going on! Lots of coverage.

Guardian (England) – A little lower than I expected, but still decent coverage.

Herald Tribune (France) – I’m not familiar with the main French news outlets, so this may have been a bad pick.

Iran – This is a state run news outlet so you expect mostly politics and propaganda, but the Cup still gets a nod.

Le Monde (France) – You wouldn’t even know there was some dead terrorist somewhere…

MSNBC – Look at that – top story. Oh wait, it’s about security and the risk of terrorism at the World Cup, not the actual, you know, event. All terrorism ALL THE TIME.

NY Times (US) – Nada. Nothing. Not on the top screen anyway (I hate their new longer format)

Sydney (Australia) – Look at that – huge worldwide sporting event and it is considered news. As for not being the top story – hey sex sells!

Washington Post (US) – While the Washington Post has a very impressive World Cup section, you’d have to look for the link on the main page. Besides, if it’s a US media outlet it’s ALL TERRORISM! ALL THE TIME!

There you go. Exactly what I expected. It is so depressing to see nothing besides ALL TERRORISM, ALL THE TIME on TV and the web. The biggest sporting event in the world is getting underway and all you hear about is some dead guy who MIGHT have been alive when the troops got there and MIGHT have been double crossed by his buddies.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! Its 12:05!!!! What am I doing blogging!