Football has climbed the popularity rankings in the United States, passing ice hockey in fourth place and closing in on baseball in third. 

The Premier League’s massive £2 billion contract with NBC, which came after a tussle among American broadcasters earlier this month, reflects the sport’s expanding popularity. 

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The English Premier League increased its money when the channel renewed its deal and agreed to broadcast 380 games on its cable and digital platforms for the next six seasons. 

According to Sportsmail, Association Football, often known as soccer in the United States, has recently surpassed ice hockey and is now ranked fourth in the United States, behind baseball, basketball, and American football.

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‘Today soccer is the fourth sport in the US in terms of popularity. Football is now just ahead of ice hockey. It follows a tremendous growth in popularity of football,’ Pierre Maes, a sports media strategist, told The Daily Mail. ‘This is one reason why NBC is paying so much.’ 

Furthermore, between 2019 and 2021, the percentage of US fans who claim they love watching the English Premier League in particular has increased from 12% to 15%. At the same time, the number of fans who say they would be willing to pay to watch the Premier League has increased from 6% to 9%. 

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Soccer’s soaring popularity is attributed in part to its accessibility – all you need is a ball to play a game – and the fact that nearly everyone in the United States has at least tried it. 

Since 2009-10, smart television coverage of the Premier League has also played a role.

In truth, commentator Ian Darke and former Liverpool, Real Madrid, and England winger Steve McManaman are to thank for bringing Britain’s national sport to American television. 

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When the Fox Soccer Channel, instead of Setanta Sports, sub-licensed matches to ESPN2, top-flight football gained a footing in America.