Forbes compares soccer and baseball including a very slick and informative pop up slideshow highlighting the differences. While I doubt I’ll see soccer become more popular than MLB, the NBA, or the NFL, I think it will leapfrog the NHL.
On a global scale, soccer leaves baseball even further behind. Soccer’s preeminent event, the World Cup, which takes place every 4 years, had 1.1 billion people tune in to watch the final game in 2002 between Germany and Brazil. The tournament had a cumulative television audience of 29 billion people in a total of 213 countries for the 64 matches. Baseball’s biggest event, the World Series, is a non-event outside of North America and Japan. Viewership in the U.S. for last year’s World Series averaged 20 million per game and ratings were down more than 50% from 20 years ago.