Granite campaigning for FIFA World Cup in USA


Granite Broadcasting is launching an on-air, online and mobile PSA campaign by its stations to support and promote the USA Bid Committee Inc. in its application to have the United States host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. The decision on which countries will host those soccer tournaments is due in December.

The campaign by Granite’s stations will kick-off on Saturday, June 12, to coincide with the first play by the USA National Team in this year’s FIFA World Cup competition in South Africa. The US will play England.

“Soccer is exploding in popularity in the United States and our national team is a symbol of tremendous pride and inspiration for our country. Granite is looking forward to lending its resources to generate support in our nation’s efforts to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, especially as anticipation for the quadrennial event soars for this summer’s games. A focal point of the USA Bid Committee’s campaign is an online petition supporting the bid, so soccer fans, please take a moment to sign the petition, spread the word, and grow the movement,” said Peter Markham, Chairman & CEO, Granite Broadcasting Corp. “The World Cup encourages a sense of unity and passion – the same spirit we strive to deliver at our stations serving local communities across America,” he added.

Granite’s WISE-TV (NBC) and WPTA-TV (ABC) Ft. Wayne, IN are seeing particular excitement about the possibility of the US hosting the World Cup, since Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is in the running as a possible host site. Granite’s owned and/or operated stations in San Francisco, Detroit, Buffalo, Fresno, Syracuse, Peoria, Duluth and Binghamton are also working to drum up support for the non-profit USA Bid Committee, which filed the application with FIFA on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation.

After the current World Cup in South Africa, the 2014 competition will take place in Brazil. Come December 2nd, we’ll learn whether the World Cup will be coming to the US in either 2018 or 2022.

RBR-TVBR observation: We remember that 1994 World Cup, largely because RFK Stadium in Washington, DC (where we were) was one of the venues. Despite the relative lack of popularity of soccer in the US at that time, the competition still set attendance records. Soccer is a lot more popular in this country now and FIFA gets more for the US broadcast rights than from any other country, so a return to US soil would no doubt break records again and really boost the sport.