Friday, January 29, 2010

The NFL and Latinos

The NFL has made inroads with a Latino population that accounts for nearly one in six U.S. residents over the age of 2. However, only a handful of current NFL stars claim Latin heritage, including Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Bears offensive lineman Roberto Garza and Lions guard Manny Ramirez, who are all Mexican American, and San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Luis Castillo, whose parents are Dominican. All were born in the United States. Other facts and figures about the NFL and the U.S. Latino market, provided by the league:

* NFL telecasts averaged 1.1 million Latino viewers during the 2009 regular season, the best numbers since 2003. That accounted for 6.7% of the overall audience.

* In 14 of the 17 regular-season weeks, NFL games were the highest-rated English-language program in U.S. Latino households, tying a record set last season.

* The regular-season finale between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 3 drew a Latino audience of 2.3 million, the largest ever for a regular-season game.

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