Sunday, July 09, 2006

The most global day of them all...

Today, you and 1,500,000,000 of your closest friends will get to spend some quality time together. One in four members of our species will be glued to TV sets to watch 22 grown men chase around a little ball. And that's a conservative estimate - it's what we'll get if today's final matches the 2002 Korea/Japan final.

But that game was played at an AWFUL time for most of the world's futbol-mad regions. Today's match, by contrast, will be played in Prime Time in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and at a comfortable afternoon timeslot in the Americas. Counting in a few hundred-million futbol-mad Asians willing to wake up at some ungodly hour to watch the game - and believe me, they're out there - today's match could easily break the 2002 record.

As the AP reports, “The TV rights have been sold to 200 countries,” said Wolfgang Niersbach, vice president of the local organizing committee. “I think 207 contracts have been signed. That’s more than the U.N. has countries.”

For all the talk about globalization, it's not that often that a really large chunk of humanity sits down to do the same thing at the same time. Today's match will be a Total Social Fact.

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