When MLS fans talk about growing the league and making it fully mainstream, the target they have in mind is usually the NHL. Soccer will never eclipse football or baseball, the argument goes, but with time and effort it could easily knock off hockey for a place in the dubious Big Four category. Well…:
The CONCACAF Gold Cup final attracted 41 percent more television households in the United States than the Stanley Cup finals clincher — and that was just for the soccer game’s Spanish-language telecast.
That’s deceptive, of course, since Univision caters specifically to a Mexican audience. The article also notes that Fox Soccer doesn’t get Neilsen ratings (why, by the way?), so popularity among the white-guy audience is hard to gauge. But that’s a serious headline at the very least, and one that helps jolt traditional media in the way that even widespread online popularity can’t.