World Cup fans are the most fanatical of them all -- beating out those of other sports such as hockey, golf and basketball -- according to The Los Angeles Times.
World Cup fans are the most fanatical of all.
"World Cup soccer fans are 21 times more fanatical than hockey fans, 11 times more fanatical than golf fans and four times more fanatical than basketball fans, according to recent sports program viewership data.
"Through the concurrence of the NBA Finals, the NHL Stanley Cup Final, the U.S. Open Golf Championship and the FIFA World Cup, the research revealed that FIFA garnered the most fans who tuned in to watch the live matches from Brazil.
"'We see in the NFL huge spikes on Sundays, then there's other programs that follow closely behind. But this order of magnitude was off the charts, to the degree that people were watching the World Cup,' said Brian Jaquet, communications director for the company that collected the figures.
"The international appeal of the World Cup drove the numbers, he said.
"The data came from users of Slingbox, a device owned by Sling Media Inc. that lets people watch and manage their cable or satellite television from computers, tablets and smartphones.
"Collected for the week starting June 9 and ending June 15, the Slingbox blog has been publishing weekly data for the top 10 most popular sports programs since January.
"Fanatcism was measured by viewership, or which sports programs Slingbox users were watching on their televisions and mobile devices, Jaquet said. Sling Media does not release specific numbers regarding its customers.
"Still, Jaquet said the sample size for this research was in the 'tens of thousands.'
"In the United States, the 2014 World Cup is rating higher than the 2010 South Africa event, according to ESPN. Through 23 matches so far, the ESPN cable networks are averaging 2.3 household rating in Nielsen's 56 metered markets.
"That's a 21 (percent) increase from the first 23 matches in 2010. The ESPN networks are averaging about 3.7 million viewers. That's a 26 (percent) increase from 2010."
"World Cup sponsors Sony and Adidas have voiced concern over new allegations that bribes were paid to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. The controversy comes less than a week before the 2014 tournament kicks off in Brazil.
"Japanese electronics giant Sony said in light of the latest allegations on Sunday that it expected an 'appropriate' investigation.
"Last week, Britain's The Sunday Times newspaper revealed what it said was evidence, including bank transfers and emails, that Qatari former top level football executive Mohamed Bin Hammam had bribed senior football administrators to support the country's 2022 World Cup bid.
"In this Sunday's edition, the newspaper said in a story based off the same information that Bin Hammam had used his contacts to arrange government-level talks to arrange a bilateral natural gas deal that would have been 'potentially worth millions of dollars to Thailand.'
"It also claims it has documents showing that Bin Hammam was invited to meet with then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in 2010 to discuss 'bilateral relations in sport' just weeks before Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2008 and 2022 World Cups, respectively.
"In a statement published by The Sunday Times, Sony said it wanted an investigation into how Qatar won the rights to host the world's biggest sporting event:
"As a FIFA partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately,' the company said.
"'We continue to expect FIFA to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations.'
"Fellow World Cup sponsor Adidas said in a separate statement that 'the negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor FIFA and its partners.'"