Over the past years, football has become increasingly popular in the United States, becoming the second most favored sport after American football, ahead of basketball and baseball. The arrival of the football superstar Lionel Messi at Inter Miami at the end of his career shows just how much attention the sport is commanding in the country. But for US football fans looking over to Europe, one club is far ahead of the others.
According to data presented by CasinosEnLigne.com, around 18% of US football fans named Manchester United as their favorite European football club, two and a half times more than Chelsea, Manchester City, or Liverpool.
Premier League Clubs More Popular than Spanish Football Giants
Although Manchester United didn’t experience much glory in recent years, the club has built a massive fanbase across the pond. According to a Statista Consumer survey, when football fans in the United States were asked which team from Europe’s Big Five leagues is their favorite, 18% of them named the thirteen-time Premier League champions.
What’s more interesting is that Manchester United is way more popular than the 2023 Premier League Champion, Manchester City, which has a much smaller 8% share among US football fans, just like Chelsea. Statistics show Liverpool and Arsenal were picked by only 7% of US football fans.
The Statista survey also revealed that Premier League clubs are way more popular in the United States than Spanish football giants. The 2022/23 La Liga champion, Barcelona, is favored by only 7% of football fans in the country, while another 5% named Real Madrid their top European club. Also, these were the only two non-Premier League teams to appear at the top end of the ranking.
The United States is Now the Sixth Largest Football Broadcasting Market
The sport’s growing popularity among Americans has also increased the value of football TV rights. Recent landmark deals like the one between Apple TV and the Major Soccer League, or NBC and the Premier League for the next six-year cycle, prove that.
According to Ampere Analysis data, US TV companies will spend roughly $1.3bn on football rights in 2023, or three times more than in 2015. The survey also showed that the United States is now the sixth-largest football broadcasting market with an 8.1% share, following the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. Based on current trends, Ampere also expects the US spending on football rights to surpass one of the major European countries by the end of the decade.