Report: Poll suggests majority of Americans won’t watch World Cup

World Cup trophy

By CAITLIN MURRAY

If you are an American soccer fan reading this then there is a very good chance you are gearing up to enjoy the upcoming FIFA World Cup. A recent poll suggests you will be in the minority when you do watch it.

Two in three Americans don’t plan to follow the World Cup this summer, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday. Only seven percent of Americans said they plan to follow the tournament closely.

The poll found 86 percent of Americans said they either know nothing or only a little bit about the world’s most prestigious soccer tournament. More than two-thirds of respondents didn’t know the World Cup was being played in Brazil.

ESPN and parent company ABC are probably hoping the World Cup attracts some additional casual viewership — they paid $100 million for the English-language broadcast rights for all FIFA events from 2007 to 2014. Univision paid $325 million for the Spanish-language rights.

Hispanic Americans showed the strongest interest demographically, with one-third saying they will be following the tournament or some teams in the tournament closely, double the percentage overall for that question.

By comparison, 46 percent of American households watched the Super Bowl this past winter.

Just last month, an ESPN poll found soccer has caught up with baseball in popularity among America’s youth, signaling an impending shift in the landscape of popular sports.

Ratings for USMNT and Mexican National Team matches have grown consistently in recent years, and the upcoming World Cup is expected to shatter all previous ratings records for the tournament.

—–

What do you think of the findings in this poll? Do you think more Americans will get into the World Cup once it starts? Not buying the findings of this poll?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

194 Responses to Report: Poll suggests majority of Americans won’t watch World Cup

  1. Dinho says:

    Not surprising. We are still generations away from soccer getting the attention it deserves…..

    • wood chip zip says:

      Deserving? Why is a tournament run by a ridiculously corrupt organization “deserving” of anyone caring? I know plenty of sports fans who stopped watching the Olympics for such reasons or for the politics. I know more than one soccer fan who has sworn off the World Cup because of FIFA corruption. Soccer is a great sport and perhaps it’s a shame more Americans haven’t learned to appreciate it but that’s where it ends. There is plenty of bad stuff that goes on in soccer (corruption, match fixing by players and officials, bribing, diving, exploiting young African players, racism) that I can understand if an American doesn’t care about it. We have plenty of sports to enjoy.

      • A says:

        Really?

        Shall we start with the NBA referees being caught in scandals involving fixing games for the mafia and league?

        Or we could talk about the NBA literally changing the rules of dribbling because their star player couldn’t play without breaking it (LeBron and the added allowable step).

        Shall we go ahead with MLB actively promoting widespread performance enhancing drug usage in its players?

        Or we could talk about MLB setting up human tracking pipelines in Caribbean nations to mine for players to exploit.

        We could go with the NFL actively suppressing concussion data and lying to their players about safety for decades. Or we could talk about the rampant and suppressed use of HGH by NFL players.

        We could talk about the NBA having an active owner–allowed by the league itself–who refers to his players as n*ggers.

        Shall we go?

        • wood chip zip says:

          I said nothing about the NBA, NFL, and MLB being deserving did I Abby. If new fans are not attracted to those leagues because of the things you mention then I am understanding of that too.

          • John says:

            “We have plenty of sports to enjoy.” – Kind of implies that popular American sports like MLB NFL NBA don’t have there own flaws.

        • wood chip zip says:

          and to your points there is no equal to the corruption in FIFA

        • GW says:

          Mr A,

          Two wrongs don’t make a right.

        • riggity says:

          mlb human trafficking caribbean nations? …a little bit of an over exaggeration if you ask me. It’s not like they crammed them all on a ship and put them to work in the fields. I would be willing to bet the vast majority of them felt their lives improved when they were able to leave their country to be compensated for playing a game.

      • Imam says:

        lol. americans complaining about corruption

        • QuakerOtis says:

          +1

          The real reason most ‘Muricans don’t like soccer, or almost anything not already ‘Murican: willful ignorance.

          • Ian says:

            That’s basically it. It’s a general refusal to admit that phenomena taking place outside our borders has the same value as phenomena taking place within them. And that cognitive dissonance appears in many aspects of American life, from sports to geopolitics.

      • Lorenzo says:

        Problem with your argument is you are saying they don’t care about it because of corruption and FIFA jerks, etc. They don’t even know much about the game, let alone all the specific details of things scattered about the world. You are citing knowledge that assumes they are all into soccer. I don’t think that is the problem.

      • John Charles says:

        Wood chip zip… Soccer is passion, is something that has been in the blood of generations of fans around the world. The fact that you dont like it because of allegations of corruption proves you dont’ know anything at all about this sport. Corruption is not good, but if you hate it so much I suggest you live in another planet.

    • bottlcaps says:

      Maybe not generations, but soccer is making inroads faster than a lot of people expected.

      But I think the survey was a bit misleading. Remember, more people DID NOT watch the Super Bowl than did, and this is a 50 year national pastime, ingrained into the public psyche and has billions of dollars in media hype thrown at it EVERY YEAR..

      Soccer is still defined as a “foreign sport” by many. The perception is changing as we efine out own national league (MLS) and do well abroad.

      But until we have a great World Cup and get to the semi]s or knock off a great team, we won’t get the general media attention, we all think soccer deserves.

      The US is not only the one of the biggest countries on earth, in terms of population and even size, but it even larger in terms of general wealth. And the US is BOMBARDED every year with sports. We have the Super Bowl, March Madness, Stanley Cup and the World Series, all vying for a piece of the attention, market and money. Fitting in another major sports event is a tough fit.

      For the rest of the World we have the World Cup every four years and a few other sports like the Tour de France. Outside of the Olympics, the biggest sports are other soccer events.

      The fact that the pol reflects that about 30 percent of the US viewership MAY watch the World Cup is not unusual and fits with the viewership of many other US sports. IMHO opinion, if the US succeeds in getting a good result, anticipated viewership may double.

      FIFA has made some awful decisions in growing football/soccer around the World, But they understand the mighty US Dollar and getting the US turned on to soccer has always been an aim, Success in this endeavor can’t always be measured by TV viewership though.

      • Amru says:

        +1 Well written

      • Laszlo says:

        Stanley Cup?! I work in an office with almost 100 people and I only hear 2 guys ever talk about hockey. Hockey is an afterthought in most US cities.

      • Gary Page says:

        As someone who has followed soccer and all sports for a long time (60 years for baseball, 50+ for football and basketball,about 30 for soccer), it’s important to put this into perspective. Before the US started qualifying in 1990, about the only WC games televised were the finals and maybe semi-finals. Then, after 1990, it was mostly just the US games. I remember a time when about the only people who played soccer in the US were those who lived in the St. Louis area. Fact is, soccer has been growing quite fast over the last 15 years when you put it into perspective.

    • alf says:

      I read a lot of the comments after yours and I have to say if we have a good tournament people will jump on the wagon. If we don’t, I agree that TV ratings will be low.

  2. fifawitz1313 says:

    Who cares? I’ll be watching. That’s all I care about.

    • Ryan says:

      +1

      This article was published to make people argue. Worry about yourselves. Don’t lose sleep knowing your neighbors aren’t going to watch soccer.

      • SilverRey says:

        This just in!!

        Poll suggests majority of Americans won’t watch Super Bowl / Daytona 500 / World Series / NBA Finals / Stanley Cup / MLL Championship Weekend

        • Brian S. says:

          I agree. The above article says 1 in 3 Americans won’t watch which still means that 100 million plus will watch at least part of it. I think ESPN will be happy with that.

    • Ali Dia says:

      +1 Word

    • Futefan says:

      Heck yeah! It’s not like the sport is in any danger of dying out.

  3. mike says:

    I’m gonna watch and follow it closely… so there’s that.

  4. Increase0 says:

    Most americans don’t know its happening yet. I haven’t seen much in the way of Advertising….. but I also don’t watch much TV. I have seen some stuff on ESPN.

    Has anyone seen a World Cup ad on Main stream ABC?

  5. A says:

    “She switched to volleyball for a chance at a college scholarship and says that soccer still isn’t taken as seriously. “It’s just not a sport that has a lot of following,” she said. “The other sports like basketball, baseball and football are considered all-American.”

    Hilarious and wrong. So wrong. Soccer scholarships for girls are a great path for affordable college. Much better than volleyball–hope your daughter turns out to be in the < 1% of women tall enough to play volleyball in college.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Arguably she could have a point if she wasn’t going for volleyball. That sport (which I like actually) is far more obscure than soccer. Plus, as you mention, height isn’t really a requirement in soccer (or at least shouldn’t be), other than a couple of positions.

      • formerlyanonymous says:

        Depends on where you live if its more obscure. In a lot of northern cities, volleyball is huge. Coastal areas tend to have a large volleyball following as well when you mix in sand volleyball.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Where? I live in the NYC area and no one here cares about volleyball. Maybe there are huge volleyball regions I’m unaware of but nationwide, I think it’s safe to say interest in volleyball does not approach soccer.

          • The Garrincha says:

            You just left me dumbfounded Slow Lefty.
            How in the hell can you be from Tri State and think and talk the way you do. that’s pitiful.
            I could have taken some solace and comfort in believing you were from backwoods somewhere down there.
            You gotta be a troll 99 percent of the time, cause I can not believe you would have survived this long in New York. Well since you are that close, why don’t you go read what it says on the bottom of the statue of Liberty and maybe take it to heart.
            Ellis Island, is that way.

        • oh yeah says:

          there is no 1 that considers volleyball an actual SPORT

          it’s for fun. trust me. FUN
          nothing more

    • slowleftarm says:

      About 25 million people in the US watched the 2010 world cup final so I guess that sounds about right. Meanwhile 111 million watched the most boring super bowl in the history of boring super bowls this past February. So, still a way to go then.

    • The Garrincha says:

      What’s up with the chatter, Wood Chip Zippo, put some gas on it.
      Soccer is, and will be fine and well. Still has the largest rec participation,
      And as soon as the coaching and general acumen of the casual player and fan rises, people will enjoy soccer even more.
      Anyway good stuff there A. All sports have an element of corruption,
      as long as there is private and personal interest, gambling, any kind of money involved, xyz,
      you name it.

  6. Waldo says:

    About 1/3 of Americans watch the Superbowl. If 1/3 of Americans plan to follow the World Cup, doesn’t that sound positive?

    • solles says:

      yes was going to post this, its not like 100% of Americans follow other sports, probably a pretty large percentage dont follow any sport at all.

    • Kevin_H says:

      There’s a big difference between following and watching the tournament. The 86% who know little to nothing about the World Cup is a more telling statistic.

      • 2tone says:

        How is that a telling statistic? that means 14 percent do know about the World Cup which comes to 44 million Americans. That’s more people than Spain’s entire population.

        • skyman says:

          Hate to be the one to point to a half full glass, but my Gawd, the WC IS the largest sporting event in the world. How many Amerikuns know about the the Olympics??

        • Kevin_H says:

          Yes, due to the size of the country it’s still a large number, but not percentage-wise. If you compared that statistic to the percentage of people who know about the superbowl or world series, I’m sure it is vastly different. That’s all I was getting at.

    • AzTeXan says:

      Yeah man, about half the population doesn’t follow sports period. So a third of the overall population is actually two thirds of all sports fans if you think about it.

    • Don the Jewler says:

      very miss-leading. In a country with 300 Million + that means 100 million peolple will be watching

    • 407 says:

      Waldo, be careful, you’re suggesting something called perspective, which requires something equally rare: a bit of critical thought.

      If people starting thinking just the slightest bit, they’ll be much less likely to burp up brilliant knee-jerk replies such as, “I don’t know anyone who thinks this, so it must not be true” followed by its own inevitable afterbirth, “Well I do think this, so that means you’re dumb.”

      Tread lightly, friend. Too much reasonable courtesy could collapse the whole Internet/Comments Section economy.

      ;)

  7. reignman says:

    I question these numbers a bit honestly. With the substantial minority populations in the US the idea that only 7% will be watching the WC closely strikes me as a bit low. Now I didn’t expect the numbers to be all that pretty either but this was lower than expected. Reuters is a trusted source so maybe I am having some wishful thinking but man those are ugly numbers.

    • downintexas says:

      What does closely mean? Does it mean watching 90% of the games? Does it mean seeing who advances to the second round.

      I would consider myself to follow the WC closely but won’t watch a huge amount of games. Only US and a few key matches. Then the 4 and champ. game.

      • reignman says:

        This is a good point as well, they didn’t clearly define what the term closely means. Is following just the US throughout considered closely or not? I think there is just a lot of important data missing, such as ages asked, regions polled, gender of the people, etc.

        • 407 says:

          It almost borders on the ridiculous in an age of constant social media of a dozen different types. For any soccer fans who will be following this WC even slightly closely, who won’t be following on Twitter during the middle of the day while we’re all at work? And then watch it on DVR when we get home? (Except for those strong-willed folks, who wait until they see each match recorded from earlier in the day, without finding out the result ahead of time.)

  8. Brain Guy says:

    Would it feel different if the headline said something like (100 Million Americans Already Planning to Follow World Cup on TV”?

    • Alex H says:

      Well said. To take it a step further if the 7% who said they had great interest tune it that is 21 million people to watch a live event for an entire month. That would be HUGE ratings wise for ESPN. This isn’t 1970 where viewers had no choice but to watch what the network suits told them to watch. The numbers in the article are a GOOD thing for soccer.

  9. iggy says:

    Findings are in such a silo they are pretty meaningless. how about the percent that plan to watch the World Series, NHA finals, Masters Tournament etc this year as comparative points?

    We know the last WC final received ratings similar to the NBA finals, so that would suggest something vastly different from the article.

  10. Chris says:

    Im not shocked by this, I do think however about half of americans will watch at least 30 minutes of the world cup once it rolls around and more coverage is given. It wont be watched by the majority of americans until the usa has a team that can realistically win the world cup, which I believe may be 2-3 cycles away from now.

  11. A says:

    Also, looking at the data this is highly suspect in how it’s presented.

    By their numbers, 7% of Americans plan to follow the World Cup closely–that’s a whopping 25 million following closely. 1/3rd plan to pay attention.

    That’s more than 100 million people who will watch. That would be on par with the Super Bowl.

  12. Jake says:

    Most Americans probably couldn’t find the US, much less Brazil, on a world map.

  13. Alex says:

    No one is watching the World Cup says 1400 Americans two months out. Got it!

    • Gerald says:

      It will be just like a lot of other sporting events in this country the casual fans will take a look when their country is involved and when the timing is good for them. I don’t expect the average person to take time out on a 3pm on Wednesday when their country is playing so much less when they are not. If I wasn’t going to Brazil I wouldn’t be taking time off for some of the group stage matches

    • solles says:

      well if you know anything about statistics, thats a pretty good sample size

  14. milbo says:

    25 million closely following a tournament played mostly during the work day..

    It’s like this every four years

  15. Dane96 says:

    Sigh. Reuters fails to cite the demographics of the 1700+ polled. I take this story with a huge grain of salt.

    • beto says:

      They were all taken from retirement communities across the Bible Belt.

      Too bad we are really missing out on something here!

  16. sans says:

    Poll suggests majority of Americans are idiots.

    • FSegaud says:

      Based on what I do for a living, I can comfirm the majority of humans are idiots.

    • Gary Page says:

      H.L. Mencken once wrote that nobody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American people. To be fair, I think he should have said knowledge. Americans aren’t stupid, just woefully uninformed.

  17. solles says:

    why isnt the title of this post “100 million Americans plan to watch world cup”, pretty damn good numbers as far as im conscerned

  18. Landon Klinsmann says:

    I don’t really care who is watching. All I know is that it will be televised, so I can watch it. That is all that matters. I don’t watch soccer for camaraderie, and I find chatting during an exciting match to be annoying. So, it would be great if nobody cared, IMO.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Interesting post LK. I am not calling out LK or trying to insult him by the remainder of this post. If it was intended to be sarsastic, I missed it and I apologize.

      LK ‘s position may not be uncommon of interested soccer viewers here in the US. Soccer remains a youth oriented participation sport rather than an all encompassing viewing event, like NFL Football, or even a regular viewing or attendance sport like MLB and/or NBA.

      Furthermore, some of our more interested fans are like LK and will view or want to view games without others around.

      LK- I hope that you change your view and invite a friend or family member to watch the WC 2014 games with you. Once every 4 years makes a wc soccer game an event in and of itself to enjoy a little company, if not camaraderie. If not, we will look forward to your post game posts.

  19. Jim says:

    That article is all about spin: As others have posted, 7% of Americans = 22.19 million people who will be following closely. 1/3 of Americans = 104 million following casually.

    Both those numbers are fine, and show the growth in this country.

    Here’s some perspective. 15.5 million Americans watched the english language broadcast of the 2010 final and 8.8 million watched in spanish, so 24.3 million total. For the 2010 tournament as a whole, the average viewers per match were 3.26 million/english, 2.62 million/spanish, 5.88 million total.

    Given the continued growth of the sport since 2010, and the improved time zone for broadcasts because it’s in Brazil, my guess is that the results from this poll are at the low end of the error margin.

  20. Ted Tran says:

    Would be interesting to see the demographics on that poll. I know most anglo-americans don’t follow football much because they consider it too ethnic.

  21. mike says:

    gotta laugh at the soccer to baseball youth stat! I don’t know about where you all live, but here in california soccer at the youth level carries the overwhelming majority. Most fields on the weekends here are covered with young soccer kiddies. Any one else find this odd?

    • Reid says:

      I would agree with that here in the CT river valley as well. I didn’t know the rules of American throwball until I was in college

    • bb says:

      in the middle part of the country (pretty much from Colorado to Kentucky) baseball was the big time youth sport, but I think it’s been declining in the last 10 years

  22. Brett says:

    They’ll watch if we win one of the first two group matches. Most Americans are natural bandwagoners. It comes from having a nation with so little unique history compared to most football powers.

    • bb says:

      “Most Americans are natural bandwagoners.” How true this is. You can find Duke & Yankees fans in any corner of the country. And it’s funny how I’ve recently noticed so many girls in Seattle who are big Seahawks fans all of the sudden.

      If we win our first game against Ghana, you can bet casual fans will tune in to watch a game vs Portugal & Germany. I expect the media to really play up the Ronaldo angle and the Klinsmann vs Germany angle.

      However, if we lose to Ghana, a country most Americans have never heard of, and couldn’t pick out on a map, ratings in those other games will suffer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain to my friends & family, “Just because you don’t know where Holland, Belgium, and Bosnia are on a map, it doesn’t diminish their talent as a soccer nation.”

  23. Brett says:

    Bear in mind we are also talking about a small percentage of a populace, with a viewership that outnumbers many national populations.

  24. cabrito says:

    I’m sure that two months before the Winter Olympics, a similar poll would have had the same result. Once the World Cup hype-machine goes full throttle, people will take notice.

    Also, soccer is still too sophisticated a sport for the unrefined American-sports pallet (see UFC, Bruno Mars half-time show, slam dunk contests, NHL shootouts etc.).

    • slowleftarm says:

      I think the euro-snob attitude reflected in your last comment probably turns people off of soccer too.

      • cabrito says:

        If I’m a “euro-snob” because I don’t want my favorite sport whored out to satisfy the average American’s lack of attention span, I’m all in.

        • oh yeah says:

          more Americans are more knowledgeable about soccer than 20 years ago. they are more casual. the average 1 at least knows the name Messi rather than 10 years ago they knew Beckham since he was married to a Spice Girls

        • slowleftarm says:

          And how would that happen? And how does Bruno Mars appearing at halftime affect anything? NBA slam dunk contest is once a year, if they even still have it. Your examples don’t make any sense.

          I also don’t get why a lot of people seem to think you can only follow one sport and must hate all others. I like baseball just as much as soccer and also follow the NBA a bit but I don’t think that makes me less of a soccer fan.

          • wandmdave says:

            I agree with you on way cant people follow more than one sport. But regularly generic sport enthusiasts who watch NBA, MLB, and NFL plus a ton of college and even NHL won’t touch soccer. That kills me and then I regularly have baseball fans who tell me they don’t watch soccer because they find it slow and boring. That just infuriates me. I don’t see how even a baseball fan can say that game is anything but slow.

            • skyman says:

              Can one imagine what it is like for someone who is not familiar with American Football to watch it? How f’in boring! Seriously, what a strange start and stop sport, and terrible for the brain.

          • cabrito says:

            Watch SportsCenter “Top Plays” tonight and then tell me that the slam dunk contest is once a year. My point, genius, is that every other sport in the this country is slowing becoming their own version of Arena Football….rap music, sausage races, and t-shirt cannons. Soccer is “boring” because it doesn’t have, nor does it need, any of that.

            • slowleftarm says:

              Yes, the actual slam dunk contest is once a year. Slam dunks do happen in basketball games though. What’s next, you’ll complain they show too many goals in soccer highlights?

              Some people don’t like soccer so they don’t watch it. Is isn’t more complicated than that. It’s not because there isn’t “rap music” or “sausage races.”

              I guess when you’re looking this hard to complain about something, you’ll find it.

          • Chicagobanksy says:

            Amen.!!!

          • The Garrincha says:

            All right there SlowLefty, some good comments,
            way to be on the bus my good man.
            I certainly agree, it should never be one or the other.
            we got choices, and we are free to like any and all flavors, if we so chose.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      NBA rules. Also if u didnt know the NBA all star game is televised around the world. Including the dunk contest. People like entertainment.

  25. Vic says:

    7% of the US population is 21 million. Those are pretty good numbers. Many also aren’t following it but once it starts they will be drawn in. I remember four years ago, people who never watched soccer went to bars with their friends and got drawn in. The bars were packed with people watching. Brazil unlike S. Africa is the same time zone, so many games will be in prime time in US.

    • iggy says:

      check the schedules on this. many of the games will NOT be on primetime, but rather afternoon EST, presumably to also get Europe in at a somewhat more reasonable time.

  26. John says:

    The marketing and advertising hasn’t even really started. Once you start seeing all the crossing marketing ads as Coke tries to sell you a can with Brazil written on it. That is when the interest and hype will grow. Its just like the Olympics.

  27. beto says:

    Dont worry, next WC when the games are on Fox at 5:00AM that desired demo of old people will tune in.

  28. Chicago Josh says:

    Yawn. This is not news….what do you expect from a country were only one in six can find Ukraine on a map?

    • downintexas says:

      What’s a Ukraine??

    • slowleftarm says:

      You think more than one in six could find Ukraine on a map in most other countries? It’s easy to adopt this condescending attitude towards your fellow Americans but it’s undeserved.

      • Mason says:

        Actual recent (about a week ago) research has shown that one in six Americans can find Ukraine on an unlabelled political map. Additionally, the ability to identify Ukraine was inversely proportional to that person’s likelihood to support US military intervention.

        There were, sadly, no questions asked about whether or not the survey participants were soccer fans of not. Thus, we cannot say whether or not soccer fans can identify Ukraine better or worse than the average American.

      • Mason says:

        Though I just realized your question was about other countries.

        I’m not aware of any research about that, but I’d hazard a guess that your typical German or Pole would know where Ukraine is since it’s (distance wise) about the equivalent of asking someone from NYC if they know where Chicago is.

        The more equivalent question would be to ask a Berliner to point out Colorado or New Mexico on a map.

        • 407 says:

          It’d be really funny to discover whether that comparatively inverse proportion remained constant—and most Berliners or Polanders favored an attack on Chicago. Or Hollywood.

        • Mason says:

          Eh… Most Poles probably know where Chicago is since many of them have second cousins there.

      • Kosh says:

        “Undeserved”? Slow, this is supported by research. Surprised you didn’t know of this – Ok, that was undeserved but I kid, the Slow. :)

        One can use this information to make an argument of complete ignorance of most Americans – which though it wouldn’t be too far off could be somewhat of a stretch and undeserved. However, to me this is an indicator of our general inward looking attitude that sees outside, non-American things, items and events as immaterial and not worth the time and effort to know.

        Whichever way Josh is taking this I don’t see anything in his opinion that is undeserving.

  29. Stinky Pete says:

    As Mark Twain said: “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Lets see when the WC is actually happening how many people watch. Here is my own auto-ethnographic research on the subject: last World Cup when the US was playing England I was at my local Costco (Fairfax VA) right before the game and there was almost no one at Costco and this was on a Saturday. It was almost eerie, like the sun forgot to rise or something. Normally on Saturdays this Costco is so crowded it is a gladiator pit where everyone is fighting for survival– it is so bad that mothers will push their small children in front of oncoming shopping carts to create a pick so they can roll through with their cart (speaking of statistics it is 50/50 chance that you make it out alive of my local Costco on Saturday).
    My point is: I am highly skeptically these stats end up being the actual stats.

  30. Matt says:

    Why are we relying on an “exte-ante” poll for this? Does anyone think the numbers are appreciably different or lower than the last World Cup. I would think that’s a far better predictor of World Cup viewership than this poll.

  31. oh yeah says:

    if i had to choose between Game of Thrones and the World Cup I’d choose Game of Thrones

  32. oh yeah says:

    how about USSF actually promote the NT

    Promote Bradley, Howard, Dempsey, Altidore for fans and non-fans alike.

    Have them on the cover of PEOPLE magazine. Create a story of Bradley having an affair with Taylor Swift and she writing a song trashing soccer.

    Have a major scoop of say Obama meeting Bradley and discussing life in Illinois. Come on

    that’s how u create interest.

  33. Dc says:

    REPORT: Poll suggest that most Americans are morons.

  34. JAY NT says:

    they didnt ask me

  35. BraveCajun says:

    Another interesting fact is that Americans purchased more world cups tickets than every other country besides Brazil. Soccer is definitely gaining popularity in the US despite what any small sample sized poll states to the contrary.

  36. cabrito says:

    I wonder what the results would be if the poll asked Americans to find Brazil on a map. Remember how surprised GW Bush was when someone pointed out to him? “Wow, it’s a really big country!”

    • Pablo says:

      Yes. Because one man who couldn’t find a country on a map is enough to make large stereotypes of a diverse population of millions. Right.

      C’mon. You guys have got to have better insults than the old Americans-don’t-want-to-bother-knowing-where-those-other-far-away-people-are-ooh-they’re-so-dumb fallback. Unless you want to point out Sao Tome and Principe on the map for the class.

      • cabrito says:

        Yes, I’m sure all of the idiots who voted for him could absolutely find Brazil on a map.

  37. Nandez says:

    The american bias is out in full force in america

  38. Natchez says:

    Of course I won’t be following the World Cup closely. Me hopping around the office screaming cheers or curses is not considered good worker productivity.

  39. Justin El Matador says:

    I was in Germany for WC 2006. I watched the host nation eliminate Sweden in either the round of 16 or quarters. We watched the game at a beach bar with sand in the middle of Berlin. The game was played on a huge theater screen. Afterwards, traffic was practically stopped because so many people were in the streets partying. German flags and sexy drunk women everywhere! I started to like Germany after this.

    I think we can all agree that it’s a shame that when the US wins, the majority of people know nothing about it, or dismiss it as ‘just soccer’. We are not like the rest of the world. In fact, I know of no event that happens in the US that would get people all partying in the streets as happens in most countries when their nation wins a game in the WC. I live in Boca Raton, FL now. I’ll be watching the Brasil games with my Brasilian wife and half Brasilian son on a huge outdoor screen with my Brasilian neighbors. I’ll probably have to find a “soccer bar” to watch our boys take down Ghana. Then after when I’m running around in my underwear and American flag wrapped around my body, people will probably look at me like I’m crazy, or I’ll get arrested, as opposed to being just another person celebrating.

    • oh yeah says:

      I want your LIFE

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      I see what you are saying, but we do we care about what people that don’t care about soccer think ?
      I love every sport, but guys who think “just soccer” usually are fanatical about some “athlete” that is 40-80 lbs overweight.

      I would run with you…Been to a few WCups…Brazil fans are the best

      • Justin El Matador says:

        Glad to know you’d run with me! I guess all I’m saying is that it’s a shame that there’s not a unified national culture for the game. There’s no sense of celebrating together as a nation. Sure, they’ll be some good places to watch US games, and I’m sure most of us had some great celebrations in bars when LD put in that goal against Algeria. Sometimes the celebration even trickles out into the street and down a block or 2. However, most of the time, you go 3 blocks down and it’s normal boring America again. In any other country in the world, that celebration goes all night in all places. Sucks. But, I’m still a huge fan, and I’m still going to be the only lunatic on my block grabbing the American flag and running down the street screaming and spilling beer all over myself in pure ecstasy over a Dempsey 90th minute header to beat Ghana in the opening game ;-)

        • skyman says:

          Just so you know, there will be another soccer freak across the continent in rural Amerika doing the same thing, right here. . . . pissing myself naked in my hood

          • Justin El Matador says:

            Yessss!! This is what we need!!! They can’t stop all of us! America United FC

    • Mason says:

      I did that for Euro 2008 when Germany eliminated Turkey in the semifinals – after visiting Sachsenhausen earlier in the day. It was a surreal day.

      I got out of town the night after they lost to Spain.

  40. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    I actually like soccer being a niche sport…even if it is a very large niche sport.

    You see the number of guys, that you don’t want to sit next to at a game, posting garbage on this site even. Do we really want them ?

    I live in Seattle, so we have a bigger current mass than most. But when other cities get there, let’s just cap it. Sorry, we are not taking fans at this time, because we are afraid that you are just watching because it became popular when all the best players came here.

    • slowleftarm says:

      No way, I want everyone here following soccer so MLS and the USMNT can dominate because of all the extra money.

  41. 2tone says:

    Here is what my statistics teacher had to say about polls: “Most polls are entirely rubbish.”

  42. A says:

    Just remember the George Carlin saying…

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

  43. chrisitan rosales says:

    weird!! I don’t remember taking this poll

    • Kevin_H says:

      That’s because it’s a poll, not a census.

      Sarcasm is hard to tell on the internet (so I apologize if that’s sarcasm).

  44. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    The way this is phrased is incredibly misleading. Of course most Americans won’t follow the World Cup, but that goes for (virtually) every country in the world. According to FIFA, 715 million people watched the ’06 final in Germany. Yes, that is a lot of people, but there are over seven billion of us on the planet. The vast majority of the world’s population won’t be following the World Cup.

    Admittedly, the total numbers are skewed because of the large populations of countries where soccer is a non-factor (China, India, Indonesia). But I daresay we aren’t too far behind the top nations in terms of overall interest.

  45. Pete says:

    Only 4.8% of Americans watched game 6 of the 2013 World Series. Only 28% of Americans watched the Super Bowl. I guess we don’t like baseball or football either.

  46. k obrien says:

    So if 1/3 of Americans watch the World Cup, that’s 100 million people. What a stupid poll.

  47. Nandez says:

    You can’t fix stupid

  48. Yeah…..did the report also show that the WC viewership has increase every 4 years? Old people may not watch it, but the younger populations are now watching soccer.

    One of the younger guys in my office has never played the game before and he is totally into it. He played American Football in college.

    So, what did they do? Call 2k people in rural America and ask them about the World Cup?

  49. bakunin says:

    General Patton said it best:
    “America loves a winner and will not tolerate a loser!”
    When we have our version of Messi and are considered favorites to WIN the world cup –
    then Amurikans will LOVE soccer. We need a player who is THE BEST player in the world.

    • John says:

      It’s kind of funny, we won”t tolerate a loser so we’ve just become sports isolationist. Following sports no one else in the world plays so then we can’t fail.

      • BraveCajun says:

        I guess that’s why the USA dominates the summer Olympics and normally does pretty well in the Winter Olympics…. People didn’t invent new sports just so Americans could dominate them. Maybe Americans enjoy a diverse spectrum of sports. I enjoy almost all the major sports except for nascar.

      • 2tone says:

        Basketball is played in almost every country, and it would surprise you how many countries have organized baseball and Basketball leagues.

  50. Ryan SATX says:

    2 out of 3 Americans don’t plan on following the World Cup? Well that only leaves like, 104,000,000 of us. Might as well not even bother, right?

  51. Hoss says:

    Didn’t the US lead the world in World Cup ticket sales by a margin not even close? Perhaps all the Americans will be watching live in Brazil!

    • Gary Page says:

      Yep, and it still hasn’t been matched, but statistics for Brazil aren’t in yet, I don’t think. Still, considering that the US mark was set in 1994, even before MLS, it’s a pretty amazing mark.

    • Gary Page says:

      Al;so, I think more Americans bought tickets to WC in South Africa than any other foreign nation.

  52. Pete says:

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

  53. Mike says:

    I could be wrong, but don’t pollsters call land lines? This is what happens when we ask our grandparents about sports. They can’t even remember their own names.

  54. Darwin says:

    Well, we all knew this because we are people and we have friends and co-workers. We talk soccer and are mocked for our passion. Nothing new.

    At least ABC and ESPN know where they stand, and they need to spend some money advertising to Americans. I would like to see this poll again the week before the World Cup to see if they did their homework.

  55. TGA says:

    Re run poll with 10 to 30 year olds only. This is all generational. The old farts who watch baseball….”I just don’t understand soccer” but they will be glad to explain to u the infield fly rule.

    As recently as the 78 World Cup, the only viewing option in USA was pay per view in an old armory projected on a bed sheet.

    Relax

  56. CamRahn Bay says:

    I’ll have 2 screens going (if there are multiple games on… not sure I haven’t looked at the schedule that closely yet) so I am doing my part.

    It’s an interesting article and I appreciated it, but who cares if no one likes soccer in the USA? Most people’s sports opinions are frustrating anyways. I can’t imagine having a conversation at the water cooler at work over Klinsmann’s 4-2-3-1 formation without being infuriated…

    • Justin El Matador says:

      +1. I can’t stand talking to the layman about football. It’s tremendously frustrating, especially when they try to speak the language or give insight into anything tactical.. Reminds me of some former American Football playing know-it-all on “the Crowd Goes Wild” (I was only watching because it was directly after champs League)… He was talking about the Chelsea-PSG tie, completely misunderstanding the away goals rule, using non-footie terminology, and giving his tactical expertise about how PSG would play a 5-4-1 at Stamford Bridge. The funny part was when the English dame who was one of the hosts was cringing in the corner after everything he said. Later she said, “let’s here what the experts have to say” and brought on Rob Stone to give his insight.

      • Gary Page says:

        I have a neighbor who is Dutch, but he doesn’t follow the game much at all. I used to try and talk to him about the EPL and national teams, but gave it up. What lost potential!!

        • Justin El Matador says:

          Reminds me of my Dutch friend. Well, he’s half Dutch, half Greek. The only part he likes about football is the drinking!

          It’s interesting, the socio-economics of this game around the world. I find that a lot of Europeans and South Americans from a “higher Economic Class” do not follow the game much. It’s predominantly a poor to middle class sport around the world. Probably because the majority of us are in this category. It’s like Jurgen Klinsmann says, the game in the US needs to be embraced in the streets and at the lower income levels. Can you imagine how good we would be if the majority of kids grew up playing the game in the streets? It will happen soon… USA to win WC 2018 in Russia!!!

  57. beachbum says:

    I’ll be enjoying some vacation time to watch all the games :)

  58. Kosh says:

    Meh, perhaps that’s why it’s called a World Cup. It’s more than just about us, Americans – this is truly one of the world events and I am sure it will have it’s audience and that audience will be as strong as ever.

    Having ratings here is nice and a plus for our sport but we’re coming along and in time soccer will be just as big here as the other sports. We are a stat loving lot and want things now but I am most certain that the WC will be just fine. The viewership may be lacking but them ad bucks ain’t and Creepy Seth don’t give a…

  59. Bobert says:

    not a reliable poll.

    The use of the word “closely” is troublesome for the poll. How do we define closely? The best poll is actualy TV ratings. And the World Cup gets monster TV ratings in this country. Better than the World Series.

  60. AtléticoUnionCity says:

    Hahaha…the poll is stupid and the reuters article written by an ignoramus is even more insipid. The soccer-hating mainstream media will be coming out in force with anti-futbol propaganda as we get nearer to the world cup. They are dinosaurs awaiting extinction.

  61. Other Jim says:

    Let’s start talking about “playing” and not only about “watching”. I’d like to see some facts and discussions about which sport Americans of all ages enjoy playing on a regular basis. I think soccer is pretty popular, when considered from this standpoint.

  62. sregis says:

    what’s the point, really, of this headline? how is this informative or useful? apples-oranges comparisons are given w/ other random sports. what % of americans said they “planned” to watch the wc at this time 4 years ago? total glass half full meaninglessness.

  63. Pingback: A Guide to the World Cup, Part Two | SuperTalk Mississippi

  64. Maizupath says:

    What is this? How can most of the Americans don’t know about the fifa world cup or know a little bit about world cup Brazil? May be it’s a weird poll or May be it’s a weird insight.