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World Cup viewing records in US

The World Cup has set new viewing records in the United States both for television and for live streaming through smartphones, tablets and consumers.   With most matches being shown in business hours, Americans have been turning to their devices to keep up.

The USA's match with Belgiym arrived a 9.6 overnight rating with ESPN, the highest for any World Cup match the network has broadcast.   There has been a 50 per cent surge in live streaming compared with the previous record, set during the 2012 London Olympics.

Ambush marketing at the World Cup

In some ways the biggest commercial winners from the World Cup may be those brands that are not official sponsors. Fifa partners were wrong footed by widespread protests over the cost of staging the competition in Brazil, although these died away once the competition started and Brazil progressed. However, it is difficult to stage and manage campaigns in countries experiencing deep social tensions and transformations.

Don't sack the manager after World Cup exit

The contract of Greece's manager ran out after yesterday's defeat to Costa Rica, but he came within a penalty shoot out of getting an extension.   Managers whose teams take a relatively early exit often then fall on their sword, but is this a good idea?

Cost of staging World Cup grows

This infographic shows how the cost of staging the World Cup has grown, while the benefits are generally very small.   For example, in South Africa many of the legacy stadiums are little used.

World Cup exit's impact on economy

Headline figures of £300m as the cost to the economy of England's early exit from the World Cup need a health warning attached.   Expenditure may dip in the short run, but the money may well be spent later, but on different things.

World Cup social media war

Facebook is gearing up for a fight over the World Cup with Twitter which has been seen as dominating live events marketing.   Facebook is claiming that it can reach 500 million fans and can offer advertisers more precise demographic targeting.

Facebook said that it had identified 500 million users with an interest in football.  This figure is double Twitter's total monthly active userbase of 255 million.    

Brokers make World Cup predictions

Financial analysts have been busy making predictions about the World Cup.  The 'stochastic [probablistic] model' of Goldman Sachs predicts a victory for Brazil, but most brokers are more interested in which companies might do well out of the tournament.

Sony put pressure on Fifa over Qatar

Leading Fifa sponsors Sony are putting pressure on the football governing body to conduct an appropriate investigation into allegations surrounding the way in which Qatar secured the 2022 World Cup.   Fresh allegations have been made in the Sunday Times today.

Premiership success hits Welsh national team

Premier League football in Wales is a 'double-edged sword' that is drawing fans away from the national team, one of the country’s top football bosses claimed yesterday. Football Association for Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford said that, while fans were 'packing' the Cardiff City Stadium and Liberty Stadium on a weekly basis, it meant that, in a tight economy, he had to 'fight hard' to get supporters to watch Wales.

Premier League to blame for England success?

Is the Premier League to blame for England qualifying for the World Cup with one of the best records in Europe, sardonically ask soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski.  He questions the persistent narrative of failure in terms of the number of foreign players in the Premier League and also looks at England's performance in the World Cup over the years.