This seriously makes me want to watch soccer all day, every day. — Michael
Growth of soccer audience in the US bolstered by… Latino passion?
According to a report by Yahoo! Sports, Univision and Telemundo are winning the soccer television market in the US because their commentators are way more passionate about the sport than their English-speaking counterparts.
John Ourand at the Sports Business Journal explained that Univision actually averaged 4.5 million viewers throughout the match [last Wednesday’s Mexico vs. United States friendly]. ESPN2, showing the game at the same time and with English commentary, brought in an average of 797,000 viewers. It’s the ESPN2 number that is a bit of a downer.
Why the big difference in number of Univision viewers vs. those who watched the ESPN2 coverage? Believe it or not, it’s not just because of Mexico supporters or Spanish-speaking American fans tuning into Univision.
A surprising amount of people in my circle of “soccer friends” choose to watch USMNT/USWNT matches on Univision over ESPN/ESPN2/NBC Sports Network when given the opportunity, even some who speak little to no Spanish. For these individuals, the coverage and commentary provided by Univision is just that much better than what’s found on whatever English-language station is also carrying the match.
Takeaway: Is our passion to shout “¡GOOOOL!” the best and most outstanding contribution from Latin American sports journalism? For reference, watch the attached clip to hear the way an Argentinian commentator celebrates a goal scored by the US National Team.
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