New York, June 15 (ANI): The United States is set to become one of the top five nations in the world for soccer-watching, according to a British sports marketing firm.
It would join soccer-mad countries Brazil, Germany, Indonesia and China as the biggest TV audiences for the game that has been -- at best-a second-tier sport here.
The United States, ranked No. 23 in 1991 and No. 8 in 2006, will jump over Britain and France, says Kevin Alavy, director of Initiative Futures Sport + Entertainment, a London-based research firm.
The New York Post quoted Alavy as saying some 13 million viewers saw the US team tie England last Saturday in a surprising result that is still grabbing headlines for a botched play by the British goalkeeper.
"That's very strong," Alavy says of the total.
In Britain, where soccer is by far the No. 1 sport, viewer estimates are about 15 million for Saturday's match.
If the US team does qualify for the single-elimination second round, audience figures here will climb sharply.
"The US has become the single most-lucrative market," Alavy says. (ANI)