World Cup Ratings Prove Seattle Is More Soccer-Mad Than Portland

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The soccer rivalry between Seattle and Portland dates back to the days of the now-extinct North American Soccer League. It continues today with Sounders' and Timbers' fans, whose distaste for each other sometimes boils over into scarf-assisted bouts of hooliganism. Now, thanks to the World Cup TV ratings, we can definitively say that one city is more soccer-mad than another.

According to Nielsen, Seattle-Tacoma is averaging a 2.2 rtg (which translates to about 41,000 households per match) for the World Cup through yesterday's matches (25 on ESPN and four on ABC). That ranks 16th among the 56 metered markets, which is right in line with Seattle's population numbers.

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You can tell a Timbers fan from a Sounders fan because the guys from Portland are the ones who don't actually watch the sport's biggest event.
Miami (4.0 rtg) and Washington, D.C. (3.5) are currently leading the way. But they have the added advantage of being on East Coast Time. Unlike Seattle, which is nine hours behind South Africa, they don't have to wake up before dawn to catch the first match.

So how does Seattle compare to other, similarly-sized cities with the West Coast handicap?

San Francisco is fifth, with a 2.9 rtg. San Diego seventh, also with a 2.9. And Los Angeles, despite being the second largest city in the country, is 11th, with a 2.4. (Presumably, Angelinos have other, better things to do, like celebrate the Lakers winning another title.)

Portland, meanwhile, has only managed a 1.5 rtg, placing it 50th out of 56 cities, and well below its ranking as the 25th largest media market in the country. Shiver those Timbers, Rose City. (I'm not even sure what that means. But it sounded kind of cool in my head.)

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