This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Soccer Trumps Doubters, Becomes Major U.S. Sports Attraction

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Who cares about soccer? Companies like Fox  (FOXA), Comcast(CMCSA) and Disney (DIS), certainly, as they've bet considerable resources on Americans tuning in to the World Cup.

But still, every four years, someone whose feelings are hurt because the world isn't paying enough attention to their football/baseball/basketball/hockey team or NASCAR driver of choice asks this question. Each year, there are fewer people doing the asking and more doing the explaining. Soccer is growing in the U.S. and its viewer base is getting a whole lot bigger.

But why deal in generalities when we can tell you exactly who cares about soccer in this country? Let's go group by group:

Major League Soccer Fans 

This one seems a little obvious, but we can't discount them.

According to Nielsen's 2013 Year In Sports Media report, 40% of the small television audience for Major League Soccer consisted of viewers 35 and younger. That's a younger following than that of the National Football League (29% that young), college football and basketball (26% and 29% respectively), Major League Baseball (24%, with a whopping 50% of its audience aged 55 or over) or NASCAR (14%, with 49% 55 or older).

Also, when it comes to drawing viewers from the growing Hispanic population in the U.S., nothing comes close to MLS. A solid 34% of its viewers are Hispanic, compared to 9% for Major League Baseball, 8% for football and a scant 4% each for March Madness and college bowl games.

As for attendance, the average 18,608 that went to Major League Soccer matches last year is up from 14,898 just a decade ago. New franchises are coming to New York, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami. Stars like Spain's David Villa and England's Frank Lampard are making the jump across the pond and home-grown talent is succeeding in small, thriving markets like Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Portland. The league also just received a new $600 million television deal from ESPN and Fox  (FOXA) that will keep it on air through 2022.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,286.76 +20.77 0.12%
S&P 500 2,010.03 -1.33 -0.07%
NASDAQ 4,574.6050 -18.82 -0.41%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs