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Putting "64 Super Bowls" in Context

Here's a headline to catch advertisers' attention: "World Cup ratings equal 64 Super Bowls." As eye-catching a headline as that is, there are two caveats: one, with the World Cup, we're talking about a truly worldwide audience, and two, that figure represents an average of the event's combined audience after 64 games. In other words, each game drew the equivalent of a Super Bowl audience, something like 90 million people worldwide. As Wayne Friedman of MediaPost notes, "comparing the World Cup to the Super Bowl really isn't fair," for other reasons, too: signage and on-screen marketing notwithstanding, there aren't nearly as many opportunities for advertisers in soccer games, as games are shown in two 45 commercial-free increments. The Super Bowl also commands the attention of 100 million Americans on a day when there's virtually nothing else going on. The World Cup had 5.9 billion viewers over a month's worth of matches this summer, and that's nothing new. Friedman says Reuters could have dug up that headline from each of the last three World Cups. Worldwide, the World Cup's ratings were only up 10 percent. What we really learn here is that the World Cup is still a bigger event than the Super Bowlin certain contexts.

Read the whole story at MediaPost Communications »

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