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Latino audience growing in MLS

Latino fans and viewers of MLS are is growing ever so slightly.

Numbers indicate that around 33% of MLS fans are Hispanics and the room for growth is enormous according to former Univision Sports president David Downs.

"Working at Univisión opened my eyes to just what an enormous, powerful U.S. Hispanic population there is," says Downs, who is also the former president of ABC Sports and has been chosen by US Soccer boss Sunil Gulati to head the committee bidding to host the 2018 or '22 World Cup.

"The size of it alone, 45 million approximately, is larger than most countries on earth, Canada and Argentina to name two. The growth of that population is tremendous."

Downs says U.S. Hispanics consume soccer, at least on television, at a rate of about seven or eight to one compared to non-Hispanics, making them a growth area, or unexploited opportunity, for MLS, depending on how you view the situation.

"You see it even in MLS," adds Downs.

"When I was over at Univisión, we were doing similar raw delivery for Sunday MLS games on TeleFutura to what ESPN2 was doing in prime time on Thursday nights, and they're playing to an English-speaking audience of about 250 million.

"To get essentially the same raw numbers while playing to an audience that was basically one-fifth as large is pretty significant".

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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