The Champions League tournament, the FIFA Confederations Cup, Wimbledon, and now the Tour de France.
All popular sporting events, even to the average American.
All comprised of games that Americans understand, but rarely follow.
Almost all events featuring players that the average American sports fan has never heard of.
And all are pulling solid ratings for ESPN2, ESPN 360 (for those that have it) and the other cadre of networks broadcasting them.
What does this tell us? It tells us that people are dicking around at work more than ever before. But more specifically, it tells us that there’s a demand for sports on weekday afternoons. And the market for sports is all of those people, plus anyone that’s ever streamed video of the NCAA tournament to their work PC. Plus anyone that values football over their month-end numbers, meetings with colleagues, or any other kind of actual work. Wouldn’t you rather watch sports at work than work at work? Hell yes, you would.
The United Football League has gone out of their way to say that they will play where the NFL won’t. But what about when? If the UFL played games on Thursday or Friday afternoons, they could tap into this fledgeling fanbase, one that doesn’t seem to mind watching players that they’ve never heard of. If getting into the living rooms of football fans is so much trouble, why not try their cubicles?
This has to happen. The UFL would be everyone’s Friday football fix. Let the NCAA have Saturday and the NFL have Sunday. But put a stranglehold on the end of everyone’s work week. Nothing would please me more than to finish out my week watching football on my laptop. But then, I’m pretty easy to please, generally speaking.
Hey, it can’t be any worse than soccer. Amirite?