American football has for a long time been the top streamed sport in the US. But in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of live streams for basketball and soccer.
The NBA has been huge in the US for years. Whereas the MLS, and soccer in general have always struggled to compete with the established sports in the states. Sports like American football, baseball, and ice hockey.
Research shows soccer is gaining in popularity in the USA
It’s soccer that has made the most significant ground over the last five years, though. According to research by ExpressVPN, soccer is now so popular in the US that live streams for the sport are more frequent than for baseball. That’s quite an achievement for a sport that is often not regarded as mainstream in the country.
Big-name MLS signing has played a major role
One of the reasons for this increased popularity could be down to the influx of foreign overseas stars. One of the teams responsible for bringing in huge star names is LAFC. In recent months Los Angeles has signed Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and Welsh forward Gareth Bale.
The Next Chapter@LAFC pic.twitter.com/AV4ITgDfx3
— Giorgio Chiellini (@chiellini) June 13, 2022
Both Chiellini and Bale are massive names in European football. Giorgio Chiellini signed from Italian giants Juventus, while Gareth Bale arrived from Real Madrid. Chiellini recently won Euro 2020 with Italy, Europe’s elite international football competition. While Bale has won five Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.
5️⃣🏆 #HalaMadrid #UCL pic.twitter.com/TaNuYC2XVZ
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) May 28, 2022
Even though both men are towards the back end of their respective careers, they still could have both gone practically anywhere they wanted. Okay, Man City, PSG, or Bayern Munich may not have wanted them. But pretty much anybody outside of the top four or five clubs in Europe would have been interested. But the duo instead chose the USA.
Was it for money? Possibly. But both could have earned a fortune in the English Premier League. But both decided not to come to England. What the signings do signal is that the MLS is growing. And this is probably also why live streams of soccer have also been growing.
Streaming Europe’s top leagues
Streams of European football will have helped this growth as well. Soccer fans in the US will have seen Chiellini and Bale playing for Juventus and Real Madrid over the years, so they were already well known to those who stream soccer in America.
Meaning, to actually seeing these guys turn up and play in the American league will only surely increase the interest in soccer and drive up live streams even further.
US women’s team continues to thrive
Another possible reason for the upsurge in soccer streaming in the US could be the success of the women’s national team. If the USWNT can continue to be successful, then that will also further increase the interest in soccer. The US women’s team has won the previous two world cups and will be going for an unprecedented hat-trick of wins when the competition takes place in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
Before that, the men’s team will take part in the 2022 Qatar World Cup later this year. Success in both competitions for the US teams will only further ramp up interest in the sport, and that in turn will lead to more soccer streams.