Bulls & Bears: FIFA looks bearish, but not at Women's World Cup

 

Tom Mayenknecht hosts The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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VANCOUVER — Sorting out the major winners and losers of this week — with a bottom-line twist — in the world of sports:

BULLS OF THE WEEK

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the hottest sport business property in the country going into the first weekend of summer and that is a glowing testament to how big a showcase it has been, not just for women’s soccer but for women’s sport in general.

It’s one thing to have average national television audiences of almost two million Canadians — and aggregate audiences of almost six million — watching on CTV, TSN and RDS for Team Canada’s matches in the group stage. Only Olympic women’s hockey has drawn more Canadian eyeballs to women in sport. Yet what’s most impressive — for the second straight week — is the number of Canadians who have watched matches not involving Canada. For South Korea and Costa Rica to draw 356,000 Canadian TV viewers is remarkable, especially considering it is almost twice the number of viewers for last Sunday’s Toronto Honda Indy and more than twice the St. Jude Classic on the PGA Tour.

The knockout match between Canada and Switzerland on Sunday will take the numbers to another level, both in terms of what will be another record in-stadium crowd of more than 52,000 and also in television numbers expected to be close to three million.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

FIFA couldn’t entirely bask this week in the glow of its most-watched Women’s World Cup in history. That’s because Sepp Blatter hasn’t done anything to quell reports he’s considering staying on as FIFA president.

If he’s truly thinking that way, he should simply look at the box office receipts for “United Passions,” the self-serving movie FIFA paid $29 million to get produced. With Tim Roth playing Blatter, the movie has made less than $200,000 worldwide, including a paltry $918 in the U.S. Never has there been such bearish movie ticket sales in American cinematic history. If anyone ever needed more evidence of how disconnected and out of touch FIFA was under Blatter’s leadership, it’s this film. It is arrogance personified.

Imagine how far that $29 million would have gone for developmental programs anywhere in the world, or for natural grass fields for this Women’s World Cup. The movie is enough to justify a full and thorough house cleaning in the upper echelons of the world’s largest singular sports federation. It’s too bad the movie’s director appears to be the only one embarrassed by it.

Tom Mayenknecht is host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday in The Vancouver Sun.

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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