National pride has swelled and waned as each country’s team competes for the UEFA 2012 Euro Cup. What might be surprising to the most of us here across the pond, is how many Americans have been tuned in to a soccer competition that the American nation team will never be eligible to compete in.
ESPN has interrupted it’s regular weekday mid-morning programming to bring us every soccer match live from the host countries of Poland and Ukraine.
While the action has been up and down, ESPN has seen nothing but high ratings from American viewers.
The Euro Cup is held every four years, last time in 2008. ESPN is reporting that viewership has increased 63% over the matches aired in 2008. On the heels of a exceptional American showing in the 2010 World Cup, viewership had skyrocketed stateside for this major international soccer competition.
Tomorrow is the pinnacle of finale of the tournament and ESPN is banking on another bumper-crop of viewers. I can assure you that tomorrow’s Championship Match between Spain and Italy will be the most compelling sporting event on television at 11:30am Pacific.
No mid season baseball game or early round PGA tournament will offer the drama and nationalism that you will see from the soccer fans in Kiev tomorrow.
I’ve made the appointment to be in front of my TV, will you join me and the 7 million others watching the most popular sport on the planet?