World Cup

US World Cup ratings down 42 percent without American team

The lack of a U.S. team caused a big viewership drop for World Cup telecasts. The 48 group stage broadcasts on Fox and FS1 averaged 2,069,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. That is down 42 percent from the 3.54 million average on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC four years ago and down 15 percent from the 2,429,000 average on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC eight years ago. Excluding games involving the U.S. team in previous World Cups, the average declined 28 percent from the 2014 tournament in Brazil and was up 1 percent from the 2010 tournament in South Africa. Most group-stage kickoff times this year were morning EDT, starting as early as 6 a.m., and the latest matches began at 2 p.m. Games in 2014 started mostly from noon to 4 p.m. EDT, while in 2010 games there were many matches at 10 a.m. and some as early as 7:30 a.m. Twenty-six group-stage matches were aired on Fox, up from six on ABC in 2014 and four on ABC in 2010. Ratings include only television viewers and not those who viewed digital streams. Spanish-language coverage for Telemundo and Universo, both part of Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal Inc., averaged 1.96 million viewers, including digital streaming. That was down 26 percent from the 2.64 million average on Univision and Unimas four years ago and up 7 percent from the 1.84 million average for Univision’s networks in 2010.

Of course ratings are down in the U.S. for the World Cup.  Without Team USA playing, there really isn’t much interest in it, except from those die-hard soccer fans.  But, this isn’t Europe or Latin America where soccer is almost a religion.  Here in America, it’s NFL or MLB as the two biggest pro sports….and then NBA and NHL a far distant second.  Soccer isn’t even in the running.  And, again, with Team USA not at the World Cup, most Americans aren’t paying attention.  So, nothing surprising in this article..

Another Win for Donald Trump: FIFA Votes for 2026 World Cup in North America

FIFA announced a vote to hold the 2026 World Cup in North America on Wednesday, signaling another win for President Donald Trump. The president celebrated the news on Twitter on Wednesday. ” The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!” “The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump wrote in April on Twitter. “It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?” Trump also personally urged African countries to support the bid for the World Cup. “I hope all African countries and countries throughout the world, that we also will be supporting you and that they will likewise support us in our bid, along with Canada and Mexico, for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump said in a joint press conference with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. The FIFA federation held a vote in Moscow giving it to North America with a vote of 134-65 over Morocco.

Yeah!!!   For more on this story, click on the next story immediately below.    🙂

Opinion: Give Trump credit for USA getting the World Cup

This will be music to the ears of his supporters and torturous reading for those who oppose him, but since November 2016 Donald Trump is 1-0 in presidential elections and 2-0 in the United States landing global sports events. Victory for the “United Bid” comprised of the U.S., Mexico and Canada on Wednesday means that the 2026 World Cup will head to North America and, in a stunning reversal after months of speculation as to how Trump might hurt the vote, it ultimately turned out that he helped win it. Since March, Trump provided bid leaders with three letters addressed to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, guaranteeing that no incoming immigration crackdowns would impact players, administrators or fans coming to the U.S. for the World Cup, according to The New York Times. It was one part of extensive but largely under-the-radar government support for the bid, and the letters took away the primary fear in the minds of FIFA federation members that could have persuaded them to vote for Morocco instead. Wednesday’s vote follows on from the success of Los Angeles in gaining the right to stage the 2028 Summer Olympics, a campaign backed by Trump and in which L.A. bid leaders were highly complimentary of the president’s involvement. So many people, this reporter included, were off base in predicting how Trump’s bombastic ways and controversial policies would affect things. Few were more wrong than former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. He said before President Obama was elected in 2008 that a Democratic president would give a U.S. World Cup bid the greatest chance of success. He then hinted in the summer of 2016 that Trump’s then-unlikely tilt at the presidency would be a detrimental factor, adding that a joint bid involving Mexico was likely a non-starter unless “Secretary Clinton was in the White House.” Gulati is gone as president and was a peripheral member of the bid by the end, while Trump, who has little history of showing any real knowledge or interest in soccer, was left to claim many of the late plaudits. As this all relates to sports, scorecards are appropriate. And as much as Obama had charisma that stretched far beyond American borders, that never translated into votes for big athletic extravaganzas. On that front it’s Trump 2, Obama 0.

How ’bout dat?!?!   Hahahaha!  For more, click on the text above.       🙂

US heads to World Cup final with 2-0 win over Germany

Carli Lloyd buried a penalty kick, Hope Solo got another shutout and the United States beat top-ranked Germany 2-0 on Tuesday night to advance to the title match at the Women’s World Cup. Lloyd’s penalty kick in the 69th minute went into the right side of the goal less than 10 minutes after Celia Sasic shot wide on a penalty kick for Germany. Solo has posted five straight shutouts for the United States in the tournament. Kelley O’Hara came in off the bench and scored in the 85th minute, delighting the pro-American crowd. The second-ranked United States will play the winner of Wednesday night’s match in Edmonton between defending champion Japan, ranked No. 4, and sixth-ranked England. The final is set for Sunday at Vancouver’s BC Place.

What a great game that was!  I watched it while grilling on the patio and enjoying a nice ice-cold one.  Go Team USA!!!    🙂