Well, at least for a month. Austin was consistently the number one TV market in the U.S. for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in the month of June and the Finals matchup drew a ridiculous 16.7/46 rating/share. I’ll save you the google search, essentially this means 16.7 percent of all Austin-area households with TVs watched the game and about 46 percent of local televisions turned on at the time were tuned in. In other words:
This is up from number 10 in the market in 2015. What has changed between 2015 and 2019? Austin Fucking FC. Owner Anthony Precourt is obviously taking note:
So why is Austin FC having such a big impact when we won’t even be playing a game for almost two years? For starters, keeping it weird often involves latching onto the latest trend, and there’s a growing fever around Austin FC and soccer in general right now. Anything semi-community oriented involving soccer has a chance to move the needle in Austin.
We also have the self-proclaimed highest outdoor patio bar/restaurant game watching venues per capita in the U.S. which doesn’t hurt. Jog on down to Rainey Street on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and get back to me.
With Austin’s population continuing to grow and diversify with transplants, UTs ability to serve as the number 1 market for a sports community is inevitably going to be on the decline. The city is starved for a professional team to call it’s own. And with this type of growth, the percentage of Austin’s population without Longhorn ties continues to increase, creating a gap in the market poised for soccer exploitation.
On a personal note, this past Sunday morning my friends and I wandered into our goto Friday night spot, Star Bar. And while showing an ID at 10am is less than ideal, somehow, amongst a smattering of red, white and blue-clad patrons, sitting at a bar eating brats, drinking beer and watching soccer on a Sunday morning all of the sudden felt very right.