The NFL and Latinos
The NFL has made inroads with a Latino population that accounts for nearly one in six U.S. residents over the age of 2. However, only a handful of current NFL stars claim Latin heritage, including Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Bears offensive lineman Roberto Garza and Lions guard Manny Ramirez, who are all Mexican American, and San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Luis Castillo, whose parents are Dominican. All were born in the United States. Other facts and figures about the NFL and the U.S. Latino market, provided by the league:
* NFL telecasts averaged 1.1 million Latino viewers during the 2009 regular season, the best numbers since 2003. That accounted for 6.7% of the overall audience.
* In 14 of the 17 regular-season weeks, NFL games were the highest-rated English-language program in U.S. Latino households, tying a record set last season.
* The regular-season finale between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 3 drew a Latino audience of 2.3 million, the largest ever for a regular-season game.
* Last year’s Super Bowl between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers averaged 7.84 million Latino viewers in the U.S., 2 million more than the 2006 World Cup final drew.
* Fifteen NFL teams have Spanish-language content on their websites and 14 broadcast their games on Spanish-language radio, including the Cardinals and Cowboys, who also beam their games into Mexico. In addition, Univision radio airs 32 games nationally, including the playoffs, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.
* Telemundo, ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports en Espanol all feature programs devoted to the NFL.
-- Kevin Baxter