Someone asked why this discussion is taking place on EETimes.
Ok, here's an EETimes take:
Football/Soccer/Futbol scoreboards are the most energy-efficient
fewest pixels needed, and
lowest rate of flip-flop toggling to drive those pixels
(And now, I retreat with my flame-retardent suit, where I will no doubt be characterized as "another American who does not understand football", even though I am not; somehow these conversations always end that way!)
I have to agree. US football has an average total amount of 12 minutes of action in every 60. The rest is counting off yards, determining where to place the ball, and then waiting 20 seconds (average) for the ball to be snapped. Since the average number of plays in an NFL game is around 130, that 43 minutes, alone of waithing for the snap. Talk about excitement.
It's not necessary for it to become more popular than American football. I noted that last year, US Hockey surpassed the basketball as the third most popular sport, yet hockey struggles to win the same kind of television contracts that the NBA gets. Those same surveys shows US soccer to be more popular than professional tennis, golf, wrestling and motor sports, all of which get more coverage.
It is conventional media wisdom that soccer will never be popular, and, as usual, that wisdom is wrong.
I have to profoundly disagree about the relative "fun" of watching global football vs US football, David B., although I'm doing this from a point of view that watching any pro sports is a crashing bore.
Soccer is constant action, just as ice hockey is. And it's low scoring, also much like hockey. This compares with the customary trio that US fans find most appealing: US football, basketball, and baseball, where the majority of time, NOTHING is happening on the field or court.
Imagine any game that can last more than 3 hours, with barely one hour's worth of play. And worse, the closer you get to that most-anticipated end of this torture, the more frequent are the interruptions!
As I said, it's a matter of taste.
Oh, I have a suggestion about the low scores. Take a lesson from US football. Give every goal 6 points instead of one! Problem solved!