Midday World Cup Match A Mixed Bag For Houston Business

Bars, restaurants will clean up. For everyone else, it’s two hours lost.

Nearly 16 million Americans tuned in to watch Team USA beat Ghana, according to the Nielsen ratings. For the U.S.-Portugal match, those numbers jumped to nearly 25 million. John Challenger, CEO of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, estimates that when Team USA kicks off against Germany today, at least half the American viewers will be people who are employed and on the clock.

“You know that people are going to need to find a way to get to the TV,” Challenger says, “either by streaming it over their computers, going down to a local sports bar, or are just asking if the company can turn the TVs on to that station and let them watch.”

Challenger says those workers taking a two-hour break to watch the game could cost U.S. employers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost wages. The net effect on the economy is likely to be a wash, though, as extra spending at bars and restaurants offsets the effects of lost productivity.


Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

More Information