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Not surprisingly, England’s biggest clubs are the main draw, but even among them Manchester United stand apart. In 2009, Fulham v Villa generated one of the biggest audiences of the season with 355,000 viewers. A younger fanbase guarantees longevity for a sport and with almost one million youngsters now playing football in High School the pool of youthful soccer fans will be replenished. What ESPN2 proved was if the content is right, Premier League football has the perfect time slots to gain an audience, since the lunchtime kick-offs are screened at 7.30am Eastern Standard Time and 3pm starts are at 10am on the east coast of the United States. As Paris Saint-Germain prepare to host Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, the football world is still wondering which of those two clubs Mbappe will be representing next season. The popularity of the ESPN2 coverage back then was also boosted by the appearances of two US players, Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Fulham’s striker Clint Dempsey. With CR9 becoming CR7, French striker Karim Benzema will reportedly vacate his No. 11 shirt to take up the historic Madrid No. 9, a number worn by such players as Alfredo Di Stefano, Hugo Sanchez and Brazilian striker Ronaldo (who, similar to Benzema, also left the No. 11 shirt after his first year at Madrid).

Currently, media rights for Major League Baseball are worth $1.5bn per season – double the figure for soccer, but that will narrow significantly next year as new deals are struck. Soccer, it turns out, is at the centre of America’s digital revolution. “There have been many twists and turns in my life, but destiny wanted me to end up here,” Morata said. The switch to digital also explains why NBC is paying so much money for the Premier League,’ said Maes, who correctly predicted the price NBC would end up paying for the English top flight. There was a small price to pay for opting to rub salt into the wounds of the Real Madrid players and fans, with referee Alejandro Hernandez brandishing a yellow card to the Argentine for removing his jersey. However, soccer brings less risk, there is less to lose if it goes wrong because it does not have the enormous profile of American football, argues Genovese. However, predicting how interest in soccer will grow in the US is complex, says Dave Berri, a sports economist at the Southern Utah University. Even then, that will unlikely be in the Spanish capital, as he plots his next move in football.

The MLS is now a solid offer and analysts expect to see its value rise, but the broadcasters spend on overseas football may eat into the money available for the domestic game in the US. The football audience is attractive since it is growing, it is younger than that for other sports, more affluent and appears willing to switch to digital, say analysts. The younger viewers are also more likely to adopt the new technologies the broadcasters want them to use. I think the World Cup is a big reason why channels are betting on soccer in the next six years,’ said Genovese. Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp didn’t appear so hopeful, real madrid new jersey saying “anything is possible” but that Salah is doubtful for the World Cup. The play is opening up as Liverpool chases a second equalizer in the last 15 minutes. Liverpool players meanwhile revolted in a joint social media campaign condemning the proposals. In terms of the value of media rights and viewing figures, it is heavily dependent on the international game and particularly World Cups and the Premier League. The NFL is way out in front among American sports in terms of media rights’ values and viewing figures.

NFL attendances dwarf the Premier League (above), real madrid new jersey but attendance at MLS matches is now higher than ice hockey games in the NHL. Below: Average attendances at sporting events by competition, 2019. Source: Statista. And in the stadium too – Major League Baseball has a higher average attendance at 28.2m than domestic soccer. Interest in World Cups and foreign leagues do not necessarily mean domestic soccer will benefit. And Genovese believes the timing is perfect for the broadcasters and the game, including the Premier League, since in 2026, the FIFA World Cup will be co-hosted by America, Canada and Mexico. In 2019, the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, which saw the USA beat the Netherlands 2-0 attracted 14.3m US viewers, while the 2018 men’s final was watched by 11.4m people in the States despite the timings of the matches being challenging since the competition was hosted by Russia. Each England vs. Spain final since then went Spain’s way, though none involved Madrid. Bidding went to a second round with all the major broadcasters pitching for a piece of the action. The 2014 World Cup, in which the USA drew 2-2 with Portugal and beat Ghana 2-1 to progress to the round of 16, real madrid jersey 2022 coincided with strong growth in Premier League viewing figures.