How strong is soccer at a TV level in the US/Canada? Do you follow it and whom?


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I came across this article which got me to thinking.

. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/02/us-cuba-usa-cosmos-idUSKBN0OI2SL20150602

I will refer to it as soccer only to avoid confusion. I love soccer/football and have seen it grow in Oz dramatically over the past 8 years where it is now our number 3 professional sport.

How is its progress in the US/Canada? I know junior rans are strong but does it pull bum on seats in the stadium or eyeballs on screens in cable/TV ratings?

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I've never been to a professional soccer match in the U.S., but my older brother has amateur-parent coached the elementary school team for 15 years and keeps season tickets to D.C. United. And like you say, every little kid (boy and girl) is on a soccer team until at least 3rd/4th grade.

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Depends where in the country you live. I'm from Seattle originally, and that town loves the Sounders as much as it loves the Seahawks. That wasn't always the case. When I was a kid I remember going to the Sounders games at Memorial Stadium (which I seem to recall as being a small, sorta run down place at the time), but even back then the Seahawks were the team in the city. (The Sonics gave them a run for their money for a number of years, but Seattle has always been more of a football town than anything else.) And then they folded in 1983. There were other attempts to get soccer back in Seattle, but it didn't really stick until this newest version of the Sounders started up in 2007. I've not been to any of the new Sounders games, but I've seen some on TV and know lots of people who attend regularly - those fans seem to be every bit as rabid as their Seahawks counterparts. Might even be quite a few of the same people.

But soccer is still a looooong way from being a major sport in the US. Football, basketball, and baseball are firmly in the top 3 spots. I would like to think hockey is a bigger sport than soccer in the US, but that's probably only true in the more northern States.

I, for one, really only care about soccer once every four years. The World Cup lasts about a month, right? And there's usually some good story lines along the way. After that, I've had my fill of soccer until the next WC rolls around. Too much running back and forth not really doing anything. And the constant flopping. Ugh. Makes me crazy.

Cheers,

~ Greg ~

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It's made pretty big strides in the last 10 years. TV contracts, which drive the popularity and the dollars for any sport, are starting to move up. Believe the MSL signed a new contract that significantly upped the dollars to the league and there is always a game on to watch.

One of the best things the league has done has pushed all the teams to move towards having their own soccer specific stadiums. Most have done so and that eliminates the teams (like my Sporting KC team) playing in cavernous American football stadiums that hold 80,000 people and are lucky to be a quarter full. Sporting KC built a fantastic soccer only stadium - state of the art in every way. It's now a great experience to attend a live game. They were also smart and made it very plush for the players so it's a big draw to lure talent to the team.

I doubt soccer will overtake our big 3 sports (football, baseball, basketball) any time soon, but the volume of young players growing up playing the game has slowly but surely had an impact at the professional level - both in talent for players and number of fans who understand and love the game.

That being said - I grew up playing the game and played collegiately (MANY years ago), but I find the game can be a really boring spectator sport. Nothing like a thrilling scoreless draw to excite the fans. I'm a big proponent of doing away with the offsides rule and opening up the flow of the game. Watch any game and you have 20 players packed into a 40 or 50 yard stretch of the pitch because of the offsides rule (which is horribly officiated). Eliminate the rule and force the teams to spread out and cover the entire pitch - it would totally change the game, making scoring chances common instead of rare. My 2 cents . . .

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Soccer is definitely a distant 5 here.

It goes football, hockey, basketball/baseball and then soccer here (north Dakota/mn).

I enjoy watching most sports so if it's on and nothing else interests me I'll watch it.

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here in the US they are starting to call it "Futbol" to disassociate from the true American sport of Football where the only time they use their feet to manipulate the ball is when they are kicking a field goal and lets face it, the field goal kicker is always the biggest ****** on the team...)

Since moving back to the US in 1998, it was a constant struggle to find information on my "home" team of FC Bayern and I would regularly scour the internet or watch spanish language television for any broadcasts I could find (picked up a good amount of spanish in doing so). Until as recently as last year when cable channels began to up the ante and offer more than just English Premier League.

Five years ago we had Fox Sports or Telemundo/Univision showing random games and the World Cup would always be on during work hours which made watching a risk of losing your job (especially if Germany wins and I've had one too many). Now, we have Fox Sports, NBC Sports, BeIn Sport, GolTV which gives me the opportunity to watch every european league out there.

So I'm lucky. But all my American friends find futbol terribly boring because "they just run around and flop" and it's true but honestly there's so much more there but you really have to invest in it... I consider myself lucky to appreciate all sport but I love the footy....

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I admit, I don't follow it myself. But I see a lot more opportunities in TV listings lately.

However, based on those I'm under the impression that top organizations like Premier League have a bigger following in the US than our own MLS, not to mention World Cup and Olympics being big draws when in play.

Makes sense though. If I were going to watch more often I'd want to see the leagues that attract the best players in the world (hometown fandom aside).

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I am a big fan of soccer in general. In the past 5-10 years I've seen a very positive change. EPL being aired regularly, Bundesliga will be here next year on a Fox contract (can't wait for this). As far as American soccer teams... MN (my state) just announced it will be in the MLS in a couple of years, our current NASL team the Minnesota United FC has been doing really well last few years. I watch all USA national matches and cheer on the boys. I attended a friendly here in MN last summer, it was a match between Manchester City and Olympiacos. I was pretty surprised of the turn out, not sure how many but it was a blast.

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I'm an Italian soccer fan in the US. So tough to follow games as coverage is minimal. There are some pay channels but still tough to be a regular viewer. The english league seems to be more popular with more games on TV.

I'm very excited to be able to watch my team Juve play Barca on Saturday, should be a fantastic match.That game would not be televised years ago.

US Soccer has come a long way, real strong showing in the last world cup, their best effort yet. Klinsmann has been great for the team. But....still a long way to go to compete with the Italians, Brazilians, Spanish, Germans etc. They are not in that class yet.

The US soccer league has grown in popularity but again, if you watch the Euro teams, the US isn't playing at that level so it is a little boring.

Still a long way to go in my opinion.

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The woman's FIFA World Cup is in this area and actually all the teams just arrived here this week, so they've been pumping adds and promoting the piss out of the sport lately here in Canada.

With a very diverse demographic, many new Canadians are from countries where footie is king, and I still get surprised when I stop at the local pub for a pint and can't get a chair, then look at the tele and see why

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Going to the US vs. Germany Men's friendly Match next Weds. in Cologne!

Love following all the great Euro Leagues. I believe more and more Americans are beginning to do so as well as the Sport is getting more exposure from Fox Sports and ESPN.

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The sport is definitely growing here. I have been surprised to see English Premiere League games on ESPN (a major national sports network) more and more frequently over the last couple of years. There has also been more reporting of European scores, news, and highlights. The flip side is that I have not seen as much of an increase in the coverage that U.S. teams are getting. Until the U.S. teams gain significant national support I think soccer will remain on the fringes of the Americsn sports world.

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Going to the US vs. Germany Men's friendly Match next Weds. in Cologne!

Nice!!! Cheer on the fussballgott for me!!

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I was born and raised in the USA. However I hate American sports, I love Cycling (no favorite team or person just like watching...,btw TDF is coming soon YEAHHHHH). Manchester United is my favorite Football Team. Although they are not near the top, my favorite Rugby team is Scotland. I LIVE IN THE WRONG COUNTRY!!! I have CIGARS and willing to RELOCATE. wink2.gif Will trade cigars for room and board.thumbsup.gif

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Definitely growing in Canada in TV and with kids playing organized soccer (or basketball) due to it being much less expensive than organized hockey. Still not as big but growing much faster.

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I am a new comer to FOH so ill take this opportunity to make my first post. Hello everyone, I grew up in a small blue-collar town(Kearny,New Jersey USA) where soccer(we call it football) has been the only game that matters for well over a century. Some of the greatest talent both players, coaches in the US have come from Kearny, National team players and some who have played on top tier teams in England and Germany. Just 5 miles or so is Giant Stadium(home of the New York Giants/Jets), where I would watch (1975-1980) the New York Cosmos. They were the best team in the U.S. Pele, Alberto, beckenbauer and others. Some of the greatest players in the world on the same team and some of the greatest football matches I ever saw (That includes South American And European Matches). Every game Giant Stadium was sold out, in fact the attendance record for the stadium was set at a Cosmos match in the 70s. Yet by the early 80s the league was dead. The USA is a large complicated Country with a lot of interest to draw ones attention. I live near Englishtown drag strip. I know they like drag racing down in OZ, I do to. I don't think football (soccer) will ever be a top three game in the U.S. thats ok I like it a whole lot. and a lot more with a cigar in my mouth. PS what a great forum thanks for having me. Mike.

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I can catch a Montreal Impact game when they are playing, but not a lot of coverage, I watch online. The sport is definitely growing here as most of the people my age (30`s) and under have played as kids and in adult leagues. A lot of people I know play in adult leagues and spots are on good teams are hard to come by.

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A very good support base for the Toronto FC here with decent crowds at the games.

During the World Cup the city goes nuts. There are allot of various ethnic communities here in the city and whole streets get shut down the as teams get into the knock out stages and folks gather around pubs, bars and outdoor viewing areas to watch the games.

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Here in the D.C. area there is probably the largest Latino population in the whole US. So, I would imagine there is a pretty large following of soccer here. Probably much less in the heartland of America where there are less minorities. NFL football is by far the #1 sport throughout the USA. Major league baseball is maybe 2nd, NASCAR racing is somewhere in the middle along with the NBA basketball and NHL hockey. I have no interest in soccer whatsoever and my 9 year old daughter is not attracted to playing it. For myself, NFL football and NASCAR are my favorite sports.

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Its picking up better numbers year over year from what I read and seen......having gone to a couple of games at the World Cup in 94, where they were sell outs, it seems that soccer started spreading more in popularity from that point from what I remember.....the MLS serves a purpose here but obviously its bush league compared to Euro soccer

Forza Juve!

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