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World Cup: What We Learned From Brazil

From America’s ‘big event’ culture to ESPN dropping the mic, some key takeaways from the past month7/14/2014 01:15:00 PM


The final goal has been scored and after a month of nail-biting induced drama, it was Germany who was left standing as World Cup champions.

The 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup was filled with heavyweights, including Spain, Italy and England, bowing out early and upstarts, Greece, Colombia and Costa Rica, advancing further than ever. The Americans, who faced an uphill climb in the “group of death,” perhaps put themselves on the world soccer map for good with an appearance in the Round of 16.

As we look ahead to Russia in four years, here are five things we learned from the past month in Brazil.

America Is a “Big Event” Culture

As the Olympics prove every two years, it’s not enough for U.S. viewers to root for our countrymen. We want to do it on the biggest stage.

With soccer, there is no bigger stage than the World Cup and this year proved more than ever that American audiences only want to watch the best. All four matches that featured the United States averaged over 14 million viewers on ESPN, which would put them on par with the NBA Finals and World Series.

While the soccer audience in this country has been steadily growing – and should continue – it’s likely that only an event as big as the World Cup will garner that widespread interest that we saw in Brazil.

Time Zones Matter

The host country gave ESPN and Spanish-language broadcaster a major assist with a very TV-friendly time zone, which no doubt helped goose ratings. During the group stage, matches were held at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the East Coast.

For more information, please go to: World Cup 2014