Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Bowl is king at home but struggles on world stage

(CNN) -- The word "billion" is thrown around a lot come Super Bowl time, but much like the big game, the potential audience and ad revenues don't always live up to expectations.

It's indisputable that the National Football League's last hurrah each season dwarfs all other single sporting events in terms of ad sales, but it's far from the most-watched game in the world.

"Outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico, only a couple million people see the Super Bowl -- and probably a lot of them are expatriate Americans," said Simon Kuper, co-author of "Soccernomics."

Soccer, tennis and Formula 1 racing are among the most popular draws beyond North America, according to Initiative Sports Futures, an independent global sports consultancy. The NFL, however, has been making a push into Europe for years and has staged regular-season games in London since 2007.

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