City Football Group CEO Ferran Soriano has said the football market in the United States is bigger than the UK while discussing the future of MLS, where his company oversees New York City FC.
The executive, who also is responsible for business decisions related to Manchester City, thinks the "huge" market in the States will become even bigger when the U.S. co-hosts the World Cup in 2026.
His comments come as the U.S. men's national team closes in on qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - an event that may also boost American viewership.
- From Pepe to Torreira - The Arsenal players that could leave during the summer transfer window
- Lampard: Where does Everton gamble leave Iwobi?
- 'I'll come back here one day' - Malacia completes Man Utd medical & reveals he knew 'years ago' he'd make transfer move
- Can Burkina Faso banish memories of Nigeria 2013?
What has been said?
“We want MLS to be one of the top leagues in the world of soccer, and this is possible," Soriano said to ESPN.
"Sometimes we forget facts that are real today. For us, City Football Group, the US is the bigger market than UK. There are more Americans watching soccer than in the UK. Of course there are more choices, but the market is huge.
"The World Cup is going to have a magnifying effect, just like 1994.”
The bigger picture
Soriano, of course, referenced the total population of football fans in the U.S. rather than the percentage of people in the nation that watch the sport.
So, while football may be more popular on a per-person basis in the UK, he believes the gross revenue potential in the U.S. is much higher.