Boston Is Watching the World Cup More than Most U.S. Cities

Boston has the fourth highest ratings for both U.S. games so far.

Not many cities in America are more consumed with the Team USA’s World Cup games than Boston.

According to ESPN, just three cities had higher percentages of households watching both the U.S.-Portugal game and the U.S-Ghana game. For the Portugal game, Washington D.C. scored a 13.3, meaning 13.3 percent of that market’s households had the TV turned to the game. Columbus got a 12.6, NYC a 12.5, and Boston an 11.5. We were also fourth for the U.S.-Ghana game with a rating of 10.0. Soccer haters like Dan Shaughnessy may write the same “soccer is boring” column every time the World Cup rolls around, but he clearly hasn’t convinced everyone here in Boston.

Of course, while the World Cup does seem to have captured America’s attention more than in past years, it hasn’t quite achieved the kinds of ratings that go to other sports, particularly the other football. In Boston, the Patriots regularly exceed a 30.0 household rating in the Boston market.

But the Boston ratings for both games exceed the nationwide average, and they are on the rise. What makes Boston such a World Cup-focused town? It is hard to say, and the ratings don’t tell us. Digging into the demographics, we know, of course, that international viewers are more consumed with the game than Americans. We know the country’s growing Hispanic population watches at higher rates. We know that Democrats are more likely to watch. That would suggest, though, that cities in blue states with higher foreign-born populations, like those in California, would beat us in the ratings. And yet, thus far they haven’t.

For whatever reason, people here are all about soccer. Let’s see if the pattern holds when the U.S. plays Germany this Thursday.