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Volume 25 No. 63
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Growing NFL Fandom In Mexico Leads To Increased Media Coverage Of League

The NFL is going to Mexico for this weekend's Patriots-Raiders game at Estadio Azteca, and media companies like Primero y Diez are "reflecting an unabashed devotion" to football in the country, according to Randal Archibold of the N.Y. TIMES. Primero y Diez, which translates to First and 10, is a "collection of morning zoo-style podcasts, filled with songs and zany sound effects, about all things NFL." Its online programs are "some of the most popular in Mexico." The company began as a blog in '08 run by two people. It since has "mushroomed into four podcasts, with a paid staff of 12" and 5-7 million "weekly visits to its programs." Its content has "grown in sync with Mexican interest in the NFL." The "complicated discussions and debate that occur" in the U.S. over issues such as concussions, domestic violence and protests by players "take a back seat to full-throated dissections" of on-field play. Company Founder Ulises Harada, who is the main host for the shows, said, "Here in Mexico they like sports, but they don’t like to talk about what surrounds sports." Archibold notes in a typical week, nine NFL games are "aired in Mexico City, two on broadcast television and the others on cable -- in some cases more than what is available in most American cities." NFL Mexico Dir Arturo Olivé said as in the U.S., ratings for games in Mexico have slipped "in the single digits." But he said that some of that loss has been "made up through the growing popularity of the league’s Game Pass service." Olive "predicted that the NFL and Televisa, the Mexican broadcasting powerhouse that carries the regular season games, would renew their contract when it comes up" in '20 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/17).