The sports headlines are somewhat misleading. The USA Today headline is: “David Beckham’s MLS debut causes TV ratings jump”. It screams success. However, a closer look at the numbers tells a different story:
“David Beckham’s presence immediately doubled the television rating for his Major League Soccer debut.
D.C. United’s 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday night received an average rating of 0.45 on ESPN2, the network said Friday. That translates to 422,000 households.”
link: USA Today article
The numbers are not overwhelming. If these are the numbers after all the publicity that David Beckham and his wife have received, Major League Soccer has a long struggle ahead to win over the American sports audience.
One American sports fan sent an email, after the last time I discussed David Beckham. His analogy was to imagine if there was a professional baseball league in the United Kingdom. The owners of this league would want to win over the United Kingdom and European audience. To that end, they lure Alex Rodriguez away from North America to join one of the teams. The English and European audience would be mildly interested in the huge, huge, huge sum of money that it would take to sign Mr Rodriguez and then those people would go back and watch their usual sports. – That seemed like an excellent comparison. David Beckham will need some Harry-Potter-like magic with American sports fans.
[tags]david beckham, television audience, alex rodriguez, sports fans, major league soccer[/tags]