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US broadcasters paid more for World Cup broadcasting rights than any other country. That’s insane. October 16, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in U.S. soccer.

At first it defies belief to think that a country that’s relatively indifferent to soccer can provide FIFA with its biggest TV rights payments. That’s what Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl said in his Thursday column.

But it actually makes sense.

  1. The US has a huge population, which is a lot of viewers to be reached.
  2. The US has a huge economy. US TV networks can afford to pay more than ones in Brazil.
  3. There are more Spanish-speakers in the US than in any other country aside from Mexico, according to some estimates, meaning that the US has one set of bids for a soccer-ambivalent majority population, and another for a soccer-mad minority. Wahl even says the Spanish-language rights to the World Cup go for more than the English-language ones, which is in itself crazy.

Nevertheless, mind-boggling.



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