Soccer vs. Football: Which one will comet dominate as the biggest spectator sport?

Basketball is actually quite popular in continental Europe as a spectator sport - nowhere as big as soccer, of course, but bigger than most anything else. I can’t understand why it never really caught on in the UK.

Do you? The snooker world championship has been on tv the last few weeks here. The Darts will be shown in full.

Amercian football will get a few games shown on channel five, sunday nights, one in the morning.

American football is rugby for wimps. It has all the lack of pace of cricket and none of the focus.

That may be because American football takes place late in the evening, our time :D. Also, I bet snooker rights are cheaper. Cheap, gets reasonable ratings, fills hours… TV schedulers must love that.

I suspect the OP has a bee in their bonnet regarding soccer…not sure why but here is a comment from them on closed thread elsewhere (there have been a few from the OP on this subject)

So if that is what the OP thinks then it is no wonder that they would expect the “high scoring” of american football to be more attractive.

Of course this is a failure of imagination on their part. To* them* soccer is boring and they find it difficult to imagine how others can think differently. Not sure how to help in that department.

But the fact that there is less scoring in soccer means that every individual score or…and concentrate because this is the important bit…every chance of a score is intensely exciting. The game constantly hangs on a knife edge as a goal on takes a few seconds to score and can come from out of no-where at any time. And each goal carries a proportionally greater consequence than a score in American football, baseball, hockey, basketball etc. etc.

I wonder what the OP makes of that?

So that is why it is exciting. And why it attracts the core fans that it does. Combine that with the simplicity of play, accessibility to the man in the street and the degree of cultural embedding…Soccer does and will continue to dominate.

I live in the UK and also think blindboyard’s was a fair assessment. I know lots of people who watch and talk about the darts and snooker, but only one guy in my office who pays attention to American football, and he’s considered a bit geeky for liking it (in an affectionate way, of course). Nobody really cares about it, that’s all. It’s definitely not mainstream.

Same here, I interact with lots of sports lovers at work here in the UK and can’t recall having a conversation on american football, but certainly have done on darts and snooker.

American living in the UK here, and I don’t see American football taking off at all. It just doesn’t resonate.

As for boring, the stop-start nature of American football is intensely irritating, and moreso if commercial breaks are factored in. It’s only enjoyable to watch if you’ve been consuming beer all afternoon. And I say that as someone who actually watches the snooker coverage. (Mind you, they both have a long way to go to match cricket for dullness.)

I could, however, see basketball gaining international appeal - it’s fast, high scoring and doesn’t require the same level of new infrastructure as US football.

Another Brit agreeing. I know no one who watches American Football, and the only time I hear it even mentioned is when they transfer a game once a year to Wembley. It is a very minor sport in the UK, not helped by the fact that it is similar to the homegrown game of rugby, which is very popular participation sport.

Channel 4 here in the UK did a very good US Football magazine programme in the late 1980s, it gained a small cult following (of which I was part) but they discontinued it after a few seasons and it hasn’t been revived, which I think tells you a lot about the lack of interest in the UK.

Oh, and “more advanced sport” really made me :smiley:

I loved it back in the day when Channel 4 made a thing of showing obscure sports from around the world. My favourite was Kabadi fro India

One big reason I can think of for why football would never pass soccer’s global popularity is the equipment involved. For soccer you need a ball and something to serve as a goal. For football, for real football anyway, the helmets and pads required would rack up a high cost even to get a youth league started.

To summarise most comments here and to answer the OP -

American Football is only popular in North America. It rarely figures in the top ten sports played, seen live or viewed in other countries. There is little interest in adopting the sport in other countries - most active players have American links and childrern are not introduced to it at school-going age.

Outside North America, what the rest of the world calls football is the most popular sport worldwide. In playing, watching live and viewing figures, it is number one in many countries, and somewhere in the top five in the majority of other countries.

In the US, it is being adopted by a large number of people at school-going age. That implies that participation is likely to increase in the US, against US Football, while that sport is not increasing participation abroad.

So, to answer the OP, football dominates American Football by a huge margin, and is very likely to continue to dominate it.

MLS has better average attendance than both NBA and NHL (and also comparing well to the smaller European leagues) (article from 2010)

I don’t have cites handy for this, but the newer teams in the league (Toronto, Seattle, Philadelphia, Portland and Vancouver) all sell out the majority of their home games, with Seattle’s Qwest Field holding around 36K and the other stadiums I believe all in the 18K-22K range.

For more anecdotal evidence, my team FC Dallas, which has a history of mismanagement and poor attendance records, has already sold out 2 out of 4 home games so far this season (compared to last year’s 0 sellouts in 15 home games), and has overall attendance up nearly 75% over this time in 2010.

Soccer’s not going to be catching up to NFL or MLB any time soon (the stadiums aren’t large enough, for one thing), but there’s no doubt that the market for it in the US is growing, and growing fast.

A) Compared to other popular team sports, I would say, yes absolutely. Hockey and Rugby being in second place, then a somewhat wide margin to the other team sports. Only Boxing/MMA is going to be more dangerous than Football. Driving is potentially deadly, but there is comparatively little chance of cumulative brain damage, or other long term debilitating injuries.

B) Banned? No. However, as a society we are becoming more safety conscious, and we may lose our taste for sports where injuries like this are commonplace.

Where do people get the idea that American Football has more action than soccer?

“According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.”

Er, no. I expect soccer to become more popular here in the US (though nowhere near the NFL) and I expect American football to remain the same in popularity worldwide.

Since soccer already has far more fans than the NFL (maybe by as much as an order of magnitude, though that’s probably stretching things a bit), it will take quite an uptick of NFL-fever for American football to approach soccer’s current fanbase, much less an extrapolated future fanbase.

Both sports are amazing and I hope they are played forever :slight_smile:

That said, American football will never surpass association football as a worldwide participation sport.

But as a spectator sport, the NFL is globalizing its brand rapidly and I can envision a future in which it is the world’s most popular sports league.

I can agree with you, as a participation sport soccer will be more “popular” because other countries can’t afford footabll. But the NFL will likely come to beat soccer in terms of spectator (especially TV viewership) as it offers a superior, more entertaining product with high production values, great humorous commercials and the visceral excitement of large men pounding each other hard and the violence of helmet-to-helmet hits. Soccer just doesn’t have any big plays or flashy excitement, its really a relic of the 19th century spread by the British empire and only popular due to its low cost.

Soccer is a small fuel efficient Prius, practical but not exciting, Football is a Hummer, big expensive and exciting.

Sounds that along with jingoistic issues the Original Topic came with sexual issues as well.