Soccer reigns again in Spain

2010 TV ratings skyrocketed boosted by World Cup

MADRID — Soccer was king of TV content in Spain in 2010, driven by the national team’s triumph in South Africa’s FIFA World Cup tournament. Games or soccer-related programming nabbed 39 of the top 50 slots.

“In 2009, only two soccer matches averaged more than 10 million TV viewers; in 2010, eight soccer broadcasts broke that barrier,” said Valeria Querol, head of audience analysis at Madrid’s Barlovento Comunicacion.

Sports broadcasts only accounted for 5.1% of total programming time for Spain’s six nationwide channels. But they overperformed dramatically.

Soccer telecasts at pubcaster RTVE’s La1 channel averaged a 31.7 share, led by European Champions League matches. Boosted by the World Cup, Mediaset’s Telecinco soccer slots averaged a 34 share.

Top division Liga BBVA games nabbed a 14.8 share at LaSexta.