January 31, 2010

More people watched last year's Champions League final than last year's Super Bowl: The Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United last May drew an audience of 109 million.

February's Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals attracted three million less.

Formula 1's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was in third place with an average of 54 million.

posted by JButton to football at 06:31 PM - 11 comments

I was one of those 54 million who watched the Abu Dhabi race.

I wonder how many of those 54 million wondered like I did why they fuck they bother anymore since clearly the racing is secondary now to all the glitz and asshole showbiz types. Shitty circuit, shitty racing, shitty sport. (Quarter of a century I've been following and I have ZERO interest in the new season.)

Very interesting that the Super Bowl and Champions League are so close globally. I used to watch the Super Bowl every year when I lived in the UK and until I had local advertisements forced on me via the cable company, I watched the Super Bowl most years.

I have never watched a Champions League final.

posted by Drood at 07:03 PM on January 31, 2010

Shitty circuit, shitty racing, shitty sport.

Drood, how do you really feel ?

posted by tommybiden at 07:05 PM on January 31, 2010

Is there a list of, say, the top 10 from last year?

posted by NoMich at 07:27 PM on January 31, 2010

As more people in Asia, Africa and South America get TVs and decent service the gap between World Cup and Super Bowl will likely only grow.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:29 PM on January 31, 2010

I watched both the Super Bowl and the Champions League Final, although I'll admit that I've never even heard of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It's the first Champions League Final for me, and given the massive effort by ESPN to get the Champions League matches on tv in the US and the quality of the tournament, I'm guessing that I may have been part of an American market share that was a significant piece of the pie. Furthermore, considering that this was the highest rated Super Bowl yet, it's all the more impressive.

And to touch again on my first point, I hope that it is (at least in part) due to increased popularity in the US, and hopefully we can get more and better quality soccer in this country.

posted by bender at 07:30 PM on January 31, 2010

Tommy: LOL! I am just so sick of the sport. The racing gets worse every year. The drivers are drones. Not to mention in a couple of cases complete assholes. There's the Renault race fixing. There's the petty bitching and moaning. There's the sterile processions on track. The fact a close personal friend of Ferrari is now in charge of the FIA. The fact Bernie doesn't give a shit about anything but money. The fact the series is damn near a spec series now.

It's just BORING AS HELL now.

posted by Drood at 08:43 PM on January 31, 2010

I'm confident that gap will increase further this year in particular since the Champions League final has finally been scheduled for a weekend instead of a Tuesday/Wednesday like all the matches leading up to it (and all CL finals of recent memory).

posted by sbacharach at 10:48 PM on January 31, 2010

While the numbers are probably unreliable to some extent, FIFA reported that 715.1MM viewers watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup.

It's actually somewhat amazing that a sport that is played at a high level professionally in only one or two countries is responsible for as high a spot on the worldwide list as (American) football.

posted by holden at 11:14 PM on January 31, 2010

You're right Holden. I mean as a Brit I can say "Yay, football beat... Erm... Football..." but the Super Bowl would be largely akin to the FA Cup or something getting that level of viewership.

Of course, in the US and Canada (not sure about other countries) the NFL is on regular network TV. I have to get cable to be able to see the Champions League.

posted by Drood at 11:42 PM on January 31, 2010

I'm wondering what the total viewing figures are for the early Premier League match on a Saturday. If you count in China and Southeast Asia, where it's on in prime time, I suspect you would get the highest audience for a regular program.

And for an annual event, what are the worldwide FA Cup final figures?

posted by owlhouse at 11:43 PM on January 31, 2010

what are the worldwide FA Cup final figures?

The FA's estimates for the 2005 final (Arse/ManU) talked about 484 million, which sounds as inflated as a Man City transfer fee.

posted by etagloh at 05:43 PM on February 01, 2010

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