Soccer vs. football
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA , was beaming as he enthused about the generational impact that the United States would have on soccer at a World Economic Forum dinner in Davos in 2020.
Infantino swooned when he spoke about the US hosting the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada, saying “The United States is on the verge of becoming the soccer power in the world, it’s coming faster than you think.
The World Cup will now compete in a crowded American sports schedule where the NFL and, to a lesser extent, college football, the NBA, and NHL have emerged as direct competitors.
Previously, the World Cup faced little competition for casual viewing fans during those quieter summer months due to Fifa’s decision to move the tournament from its usual June-July schedule to November and December.
The league just disclosed TV viewership data for 2021, showing that it accounted for 48 of the top 50 TV shows, with the average NFL broadcast drawing in 17.1 million viewers.
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Fifa has four games scheduled against the NFL at this World Cup, two of which partially conflict with the Bills-Lions game on Thanksgiving, when watching (American) football in the background is customary.
Additionally, younger Americans are anticipated to drive Qatar ratings, with the Latino community generating the majority of interest.
According to a recent Telemundo survey, 67% of US Latinos plan to watch the World Cup on TV or another device, and nearly 75% of them identify as soccer fans.
Experts cautioned that the variety of platforms for watching matches could make it challenging to determine accurate statistics.