Cannibalism and the World Cup Soccer Games

Business news coverage and sports coverage often complement each other. And sometimes they cannibalize each other. This week is one of those cannibal weeks.

Every time a World Cup game kicks off, my traffic monitoring gizmos point to a dip in traffic. And not just when the U.S. is playing.

World Cup match ball
World Cup match ball

"I was talking to a trader," John Carney told me as Italy was playing Paraguay. "He says at least two-thirds of the TVs on his floor are tuned into soccer."

Normally sports coverage can integrate right into business coverage. They appeal to the same mainstream demographic. The guys (for the most part they are guys, our surveys say) that are interested in hot companies are often the same guys interested in hot sports teams. Add the money implications of certain sports events and, woo boy, you can get some very intense interest. Our Darren Rovell capitalizes on that.

But when major sports events collide with the market day ... sigh ... business coverage is pretty much the loser.

We probably won't be the only ones losing to soccer. General productivity will probably get hit in one way or another. Indeed, Goldman Sachs is apparently predicting that soccer will have an effect on tech earnings for the quarter. (Of course, this is a standard sort of attention-getting prediction by various research outfits: Multiply estimated lost worker hours by average pay rates and get dollar figure for lost productivity. Just add press release!)

To top it all off, the U.S. Open starts tomorrow. That was enough of a pain last year. Double sigh.