February 02, 2010
For the first time ever, the UEFA Champions League final beat out the Super Bowl in television viewership in 2009. From Reuters:
With 2009 not including a 'mega event' -- a Summer Olympic Games or a soccer World Cup or European championship -- it offered a chance to measure the two biggest annual sporting events.
The Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United, on May 27, drew an average audience of 109 million while the Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals on February 1, attracted three million less.
In terms of 'total audience', the amount of people who watched part of the event, the difference was larger with the Champions League pulling in 206 million throughout the game while the Super Bowl managed 162 million.
While the Super Bowl's audience was overwhelmingly domestic, UEFA's product appeared to be doing better in the battle for viewers globally -- in non-World Cup and non-Olympic Games year.
Apparently while the Super Bowl obviously dominated the U.S. market, the Champions League final did way better in Asia, which they say proves that European football is "outpacing the NFL in key growth markets."
So what does this all mean? Well, it means more people watched the Champions League final than the Super Bowl in 2009. (Duh.) And that more people had nothing better to do on May 27 than on February 1. And that more people are entranced by the five o'clock shadow that covers 90% of Pep Guardiola's head than Ben Roethlisberger's neck beard. And that being popular in Asia is important. Which is why I am currently hiding in Yao Ming's garage so I can ask him for a DT endorsement when he gets home.
Photo: Getty Images