Footy Posted June 25, 2004 Share Posted June 25, 2004 I hope this is a good indication about the future of soccer as specatator sport  There seems to be a louder buzz about the European soccer tournament this time. It might have something to do with controversies involving the Italian team, the headlines about England and its 18-year-old star, Wayne Rooney, and France's recovery after a shaky start. Whatever the case, Euro 2004 is getting more air time on radio, receiving a higher placement on sportscasts and also drawing larger TV audiences. TSN's live daytime coverage is averaging 217,000 viewers a game. That's an increase of 150 per cent from the Euro 2000 telecasts. Is this a breakthrough? After so many years of Canadian children participating in youth soccer and with Canadians bombarded with so much soccer content on TV, is the sport on the crest of becoming mainstream? TSN's Euro 2004 anchor, Vic Rauter, loves soccer and has been covering the sport for more than 20 years. But he's not optimistic about it moving into the same league as football or baseball, never mind hockey. "Euro 2004 is big because people like to watch the big show," he said. "The Euro Cup will go away July 4 and Canada will revert back to what it is -- a hockey country, primarily. The World Cup will come in two years and again there will be a lot of flag waving and then it will go away." Despite growth in Montreal and Vancouver, the sport in Toronto is still divided along ethnic lines, Rauter said. "The Germans believe they play the best soccer, the Italians think they do, the Polish do, the English do," he said. "The problem is they won't go and watch soccer for soccer's sake. People have this attitude that soccer is only good in places where they come from." Rauter said soccer will arrive when a city is able to support a Major League Soccer franchise and Canadian players will be able to make a living playing the game at home instead of moving to Europe. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.