The bizarre surge in #WorldCup USA media coverage

Do you really care about the World Cup?

Well, do you? I mean don’t get me wrong, Soccer is fantastic and I’m sure there are TONS of people that love it. But historically I don’t remember so much discussion, chatter and news media in your face coverage about soccer or the World Cup. My analysis below is going to prove to you something is seriously abnormal about the US news coverage of the World Cup.

I did do some research and have to admit, I’m a bit shocked to see the search term “soccer” is about as popular as “baseball”, <GASP>, what has come over you America? Must still be ticked off about the baseball strike, right? Still a Google search for “America’s Past Time” and guess what you get…Uh huh, Baseball!

So really nothing looks out of the ordinary looking at the previous graph from Google Insights. However, when you dig in to the World Cup Google Trends data you will notice two things that seem to pop out at you. One, already the term “World Cup” is trending higher in searches more than it ever has except in 2006 when the Germany World Cup was REALLY interesting for some reason or another.

World Cup Trends in the media

World Cup Media Volume Trends

The big one here though is the absolutely MASSIVE media coverage being given to the World Cup. Yes, yes, I know my Photoshop skills are worse than a 1st grader but I did my best, okay? See my pretty yellow arrow? That arrow is pointing to the secondary Google Trend that shows News / Media outlets pushing out drivel on the World Cup.

Now don’t worry, we aren’t done here yet. Let’s look at another media microscope tool to see the news volume, where it is, where it’s going and what is really going on here. Now we’re going to look at the News / Media outlets actual publication in Google’s News database that include the word “World Cup” from 1930 – 2010. This one is a little more telling as it does show a progressive climb of the media distribution. Instead of the World Cup Google Trends data above which shot up in a crazy way this year, this shows an even stair step build into the progressive trend.

World Cup News Volume

World Cup News Volume

A friend of mine on Twitter had this insightful theory as to why everyone is talking about the World Cup which I have to admit, I agree with.

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Okay, I promise this is the last geeky trend graph we are digging into, thanks for sticking with me. What you are looking at below is the two search trends of “World Cup” and “Oil Spill.” Notice that they both spike at the same time. Coincidence? Maybe! This one possibly shows some type of correlation with the media wanting to talk about something else than the oil spill. I know, correlation not causation but you can comment about it and rip me apart, fair enough?

World Cup and Oil Spill Gtrends

World Cup and Oil Spill Search Trends

So there you have it. The truth is, I’m still clueless why everyone seems to care about the World Cup this year and the media is talking about it so much that it doesn’t even compare to the Superbowl or World Series. Something is up and it just may be that they need a new cash cow. Talk about the World Cup enough and maybe the ratings will increase?

On a typical day on Twitter I can usually ask a question and get anywhere from 10 – 30 responses. Tonight? The crickets were chirping. But I did have some great buddies and smart people respond. Here are the responses to my original tweet which will be posted first!

Please leave me a comment here and tell me if your fascination with the World Cup has increased and why you think the media is pushing it so hard!

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UPDATE: I wanted to add a quick note to let you know that all data and graphs above were obtained under United States data and analysis. Other country data was excluded except on the comparing Google Trend analysis of World Cup & Oil Spill!

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5 Responses to “The bizarre surge in #WorldCup USA media coverage”

  1. Trina said:

    See, the beautiful game has ispired even you, a non fan, to investigate its’ importance. I have to confess of course I am biased as I prepare for this build up every four years and set aside blocks of time to immerse myself in the experience. I suspect the four year cycle aids in building the frenzy, the hounds of soccer fandom are unleashed – and well you know, the media better respond.
    As far as the deafening silence in response to your Q, many soccer fans are likely in bed, preparing to get up for the very early game start tomorrow ;-)
    Thanks for sharing my biased tweet, enjoyed your synposis, even if I had to think a bit about baseball. :D

  2. Heidi said:

    Yeah. I’m excited for USA vs. England.

    I’m rooting for England, because my family is from England AND I’ll be in England for 2 weeks during the World Cup :)

  3. America revels in England draw | Soccer said:

    [...] The bizarre surge in #WorldCup USA media coverage • [...]

  4. Kitchen said:

    I too blame the surge on increased media coverage but soccer is becoming more known in North America…

  5. soccer said:

    I’m one of those people that cares about the world cup but that’s the only time I ever watch soccer.

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