Cincinnati draws 2nd biggest TV viewership of USA World Cup opener

CINCINNATI — For those of you who don’t think Cincinnati is a soccer town, think again.

Monday’s FIFA World Cup match between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Wales had a higher TV rating in Cincinnati than all but one other city in the U.S., according to a report by Sports Media Watch.

Nielsen data shows more than 8 million people in the U.S. watched the game. Austin had the most TV viewers per market with a 5.8 rating and 24 share, followed by Cincinnati with a 5.4 rating a 21 share. The Queen City had a bigger rating than Dallas, San Diego and Philadelphia.

This is proof that Cincinnati LOVES its soccer.

It was the U.S. Men’s National Team’s first match in the 2022 World Cup, which is being played in Qatar. The team tied Wales, 1-1.

The U.S. will play its next game on Friday against England.

This is the first appearance in a World Cup for the U.S. since 2014. They failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

In its prior two World Cup appearances, the team advanced to the Round of 16. In 2002, they advanced to the quarterfinals. They made it to the semifinals in 1930.

The U.S. Men’s National Team has never won a World Cup.

This year’s tournament is making history as the first-ever soccer World Cup ever to be held in the Middle East. However, a massive shadow of controversy hangs in the air over this year’s games.

When Qatar won the bid for the tournament back in 2010, the country had very little soccer infrastructure. So, the nation, which is about the size of Connecticut, had to build a lot.

An investigation by The Guardian newspaper reported that over 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have died in Qatar since 2012.

Same-sex relationships are criminalized in the country and can come with a lengthy prison sentence. According to ABC News, Qatari officials have been “erratically” arresting people in the LBGTQ community and subjecting them to poor treatment.

The status of women in Qatar has also caused international outcry. According to a report by the Associated Press, Qatar’s legal system is based on Islamic law or Shariah, which rights groups say hinders women’s advancement.

Qatar is not the first controversial host to a massive worldwide sporting event. Recently China has played host to two Olympiads despite major human rights concerns, and the previous World Cup host in 2018, Russia, came after a series of diplomatic crises amid the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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