We Americans like our sports much faster paced than everyone else.
For instance, take the recent FIFA World Cup football (soccer to Americans...). Two hours for one, single goal? That's nuts. That's boring! And that's hardly unusual in terms of soccer games, which are usually relatively low scoring.
The nearest equivalent to soccer we have in the U.S. is ice hockey, with typically low scores and it probably ranks last in terms of popularity among professional sports. If it didn't have regular fights, it'd probably be less popular.
Compare soccer to basketballs, another near equivalent in terms of game play. Both have the ball in almost constant movement as the teams move it up and down the playing field to get it into a goal, with the game's duration based on a clock. In basketball they update the rules on a regular basis to make it more exciting for spectators, including a 24 second shot clock, requiring a team that gets possession of the ball to make a goal attempt within 24 seconds or risk losing the ball. And looking at the FIFA world cup again, with 31 goal attempts, in two hours? Yawn!
Baseball vs. cricket, again two sort of similar sports, with bats and balls and similar ideas in terms of offense and defense.
Cricket has two main variants, test matches and one day international matches. Test matches take several days, while one day ones take, well, one day... From my experience watching them, they're slow and dull.
With one day matches, first one side does all of its offensive play while the other does all its defensive play, then they swap, with each "innings" taking roughly 3 to 4 hours. So, even if one team is much worse than the other, it still takes almost the full day to see them lose, especially if they're second at bat, when they may use the whole set of overs to chase the better team. By the end of the game both teams are tired and not playing at their best, so we never see a more even match up between them.
Compared with baseball, in which each team alternates offensive and defensive play, swapping each time there's three outs. Most games take between two and three hours, only going longer if they're pretty evenly matched.
With baseball we get to see each team play both offense and defense when they're fresh at the beginning all the way till they're tired at the end, so it seems like a more even and fair match between them.
So, overall, it just seems that American sports are geared towards a faster pace and more exciting entertainment. But then, I guess we're more accustomed to instant gratification...