A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE WORLD CUP 2010
Okay, so, if you were under a boulder lately, or tucked into a spider-cave for the past six months, you probably haven't noticed that the 2010 World Cup is about to commence. In North America, we are suspicious of everything especially things we don't understand, like the World Cup. But, there are roughly 5 and a half billion people that don't live on the continent of North America that are about to go bonkers. The start of the World Cup is a little over two weeks away and the Erf is about to go into lockdown-mode. Prepare for two months of nail-biting anticipation, nation-pride rhetoric, and psychiatric fandom.
According to F.I.F.A. (Federation Internationale de Football Association), the 2006 World Cup "had a cumulative television audience of 26.29 billion." The final game between Italy and France had a global cumulative audience of "715.1 million viewers"(200There are roughly 350 million people in the U.S. so all of them would have had to have on two televisions just to try to reach the amount of people worldwide that watched the 2006 final. So, maybe, the first thing you need to know is that we are talking about big, big bucks when we talk about the World Cup and we are talking about the most watched sport on the planet.
And futbol has managed to do all of this with little to no fan base in the U.S. Let's face it, Americans think futbol is all right for their kids to play, but most Americans deem it unwatchable and the majority of Americans take major umbrage at how players throw themselves on the ground and writhe in pain when futbol is not a contact sport. If you have ever been beaned in the nads with a #5 for pitch then you know that soccer is a contact sport; likewise, going after the same ball when there is so much at stake is always a "contact" task. Alas! America's lack of infatuation with futbol (I refuse to call is soccer anymore!) is, thanks to Latinos, slowly eroding its not-interested-in-soccer exterior.
For example, the largest growths in number of televisions that viewed the games of the 2006 World Cup, were in the U.S. and African markets. In the U.S., the Spanish language broadcast network Univision experienced the "most viewed sports telecast in the history of U.S. Spanish language television with 6.7 million viewers" when it showed the Mexico vs. Argentina match in 2006. In the U.S., the "cumulative audience jumped 38.9% over 2002". In Africa, there was a similar tale. Coverage of World Cup matches saw an increase of "131.5 %". And, now, Africa is hosting for the first time in the history of the World Cup and there is a lot of rabble on the wires. The largest increase in coverage was in Asia, as it contributed the highest...overall cumulative audience of 8.28 billion in-home viewers".