“If you ranked World Cup viewing by countries going back to 1998, the U.S. ranked 23rd,” said Kevin Alavy, director of Initiative Sports Futures, a London-based analysis firm. “In 2002, the U.S. jumped to 13th, and in 2006, it jumped again to 8th place. And we expect America to keep on jumping.”
Obviously that’s because many more people live in the United States than in the Netherlands, not because soccer is hugely popular in the United States. But one assumes that as the U.S. market grows in importance, scheduling decisions and the like become more likely to take the U.S. audience into account.
For my part, I think I’m a bubble member of the audience for World Cup soccer. I’m not really a soccer fan, but I am a sports fan and I don’t particularly care for baseball. I imagine that when the Cup comes to Brazil in 2014 and the games are in prime time I’ll be watching a ton of them. I definitely watched the US-England tie yesterday and am very interested in following our team.