This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

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

Stocks in this article: FOXA CMCSA DIS

Average MLS attendance is well below Germany's Bundesliga (more than 45,000 per game), the EPL (36,000), Spain's La Liga (29,400) or even neighboring Mexico's Liga MX (25,400). But it's far closer to France's Ligue 1 (19,300) or the Dutch Eredivisie (19,500) than even its most fervent supporters thought it could be a decade ago. It's also not only higher average attendance than either the National Basketball Association or National Hockey League (both below 17,500) can manage, but it's also regularly higher than Major League Baseball attendance in several cities -- including some where baseball is outdrawn by MLS. But if a still growing MLS isn't enough evidence for you, you might want to consider:

Fans of Foreign Soccer Leagues 

We'll let one of our readers address this little detail.

The standard thinking is that if it isn't a "'Murican" sport, the U.S. public won't like it. That excuse has been used with hockey; it's used (more speciously, given its origins) with lacrosse and we'll continue to hear it with soccer. This hasn't stopped soccer, a British sport, from becoming intrinsically linked with Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina and a host of other countries where the British Empire's sun never set.

But, for argument's sake, let's say it was a primarily British sport. That didn't stop NBC from paying $250 million for three years' worth of rights to English Premier League matches back in 2012. It also didn't stop U.S. viewers from tripling EPL viewership in this country from when Fox Soccer and ESPN held the rights during the 2000s. This season, 30.5 million fans have watched the EPL on NBC and its associated stations. The National Football League draws that for a playoff game, but many Sunday EPL matches air well before NFL games and get close to 1 million fans up as early as 4:30 a.m. E.T.  to watch. The whole enterprise brings in $83 million a year in revenue for NBC, which is more than happy to get it.

But what if we argued that, in North America, soccer is a Mexican gam? Even if that stretch were the case -- and American Outlaws' supporters throughout the U.S. seethe at the thought -- ESPN managed to sign a deal with Mexico's Liga MX that allows it to broadcast matches on its English-language networks through 2015. That deal includes access to 83 million homes and a host of mobile devices through its ESPN3 streaming service and the WatchESPN app. Why, because ESPN Deportes coverage grew 36% during the year before the deal was announced and drew hundreds of thousands of fans in audiences larger than English-language NHL broadcasts. Oh, and because Liga MX audiences bring in $50 million in revenue of their own.

By the way, that's another group that cares about soccer here:

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, 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
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, 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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

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

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
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!

Markets

DOW 17,672.60 -141.38 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,051.82 -11.33 -0.55%
NASDAQ 4,757.8790 +7.4820 0.16%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

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