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Quick Hits: TV Ratings, All Star Mania, CONCACAF, Etc

tor pri 328 300x210 Quick Hits: TV Ratings, All Star Mania, CONCACAF, Etc

DeRo vs Nigel Henry/ Photo by Paul Giamou

  • 5.4 million homes tuned into the Univision broadcast of US-Mexico in the Gold Cup final. The 5-0 Mexican win was the Nielsen ratings winner in its time slot in many markets. The top 5 markets in terms of ratings were:

1- Los Angeles

2- New York

3- Miami

4- Houston

5- Dallas

Considering the Mexican-American population in the New York and Miami markets is minimal, compared to the other three top markets, the ratings there (especially in NYC which hosted the match after all) reinforce my belief that MLS would be wise to ignore attendance and bring a second team to New York and return to the Miami market.

The overall terrible TV ratings for MLS does not square with a league whose attendance is among the in major industrialized nations for football. Again, like the NHL, NBA and MLB sometimes you have to accept lower attendance in certain markets (ie Atlanta and Miami) to improve your overall profile on Television.

  • DC United struggled along to a 1-1 draw with Firpo the other day in the CONCACAF Champions League. Obviously some will contend it was a “road game,” but when you wake up in your own bed and follow your daily routine, the fact that 80% of the crowd is against makes it more of a neutral site type game than a “road” game.
  • The MLS All-Stars showed their class against an EPL side, yet again. Freddie Ljunberg was outstanding and Brad Davis perhaps was showing off for Bob Bradley who continues to ignore his strong left foot. As this summer showcase always demonstrates Americans and MLS players can play at a high level against a top British club. The difference in the result was an American, Tim Howard, developed in the PDL, American College System and in MLS, so the ” loss” does not really bother me. It was still a win for MLS.
  • Toronto FC attempted to play football last night but as we have discussed on this website before USL-1 sides don’t believe in playing football away from home- and as we said before, who can blame them? Much like last year’s successful trips to Central America, the Puerto Rico Islanders bunkered in the first half and escaped with a 1-0 win from BMO Field. The Islanders are not the same team as last year- in fact if I were to rate the USL-1 teams, I’d rank them 4th right now. If I were to rank the MLS teams on talent alone, I’d rank TFC, 2nd. So basically what you have is another tactical masterpiece by Colin Clarke and the Islanders much weakened still going back to Bayoman with a decent shot of advancing. This is all the more amazing because Puerto Rico has been on the road for weeks in USL-1, and has looked poor in the majority of those games in an alleged second division. Even if TFC wins the second leg, which I believe is more likely than you may think, Mo Johnston needs to think seriously about making a managerial change or taking the reigns over himself again.
  • Not only were the World Football Challenge attendances impressive, but the TV ratings were almost triple those of MLS on ESPN’s family of networks. I will admit when I am wrong, and I was dead wrong about the viability and importance of this tournament.
  • Grant Wahl will be a future guest on the MLS Talk Podcast to discuss his book the Beckham Experiment. The SI writer has been backed up with media interviews and book promotion the last few weeks but Grant has agreed to come on the show- if you have a specific question to ask Grant, leave it in the comments section of this post. He could join us as early as Friday or sometime next week.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

22 Responses to Quick Hits: TV Ratings, All Star Mania, CONCACAF, Etc

  1. SLO-Gunner says:

    Kartik,

    Can you ask Wahl how Alan Gordon came to play such a crucial role in the makeup of the book? I assume Wahl had no plans to write about someone like Gordon when he started the book project.

    Best,

    SLO

  2. Kristian says:

    Have to disagree on two points there:

    I was at the DCU – Firpo game and it was nowhere close to 80% Firpo fans. Am I misreading what you said? It was actually much more 50-55% DCU fans.

    As for the Puerto Rico game. I don’t think they quite bunkered completely like they have done in the past. It seemed to me like the Islanders actually outplayed Toronto during the first half. Unfortunately, they had some problems trying to actually score once they got close to the TFC goal but they still seemed the better team. The second-half was much different, with the team clearly out to slow down the game and wait for a chance to counter-attack. Dirty but effective.

  3. Thanks for the clarification Kristian- even less excuse for DCU and their whining fans then. 50-55% not 80%. THANK YOU!

    As far as PRI-TFC, Clarke does bunker in big games- but it is effective. Again, I think he’s one of the best coaches in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico. He shows that in EVERY big game, even that Cruz Azul game- people criticize him for that game but the Islanders did get to PKS something no previous MLS or USL side has done in Mexico.

  4. tyduffy says:

    Does Grant Wahl feel that, by releasing the book when he did, he influenced the outcome of subsequent events?

  5. John says:

    Hey Garber Miami should have a MLS team.

  6. Tom says:

    I agree except I like that the MLS brings teams in geographic pairs. Miami would be isolated, so Miami – Atlanta might be better.

  7. BayVol says:

    Kartik…you are correct that PRI has been the only one to get to PK’s but the Houston Dynamo did grab a point at Cruz Azul last year I believe.

  8. doug mulliken says:

    kartik, why do MLS teams have such difficulty with this tournament? is it a mentality thing – MLS teams don’t take the competition seriously enough? or do the players overlook the opponent? i mean, the scum, er… united was dominating the end of that match but just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net… and going down to el salvador for the away leg isn’t going to make things any easier…

  9. gmonsoon43 says:

    I understand the argument of a Miami team boosting tv viewership, but how does a 2nd team in the New York market boosts tv viewing?

  10. John says:

    A bad night for MLS- All Stars lose, and TFC loses to a USL team at home.

    The TV ratings are patheitc. I agree with the sentiment above. I don’t know why you keep pushing NYC 2- froget that- Miami and Atlanta need to be the choices.

    Additionally, I think further Canadian expansion needs to be curtailed. Look TFC was supossed to be our Monaco to quote the USSF and MLS at the time but right now while Canadian teams enhance the gate, they don’t do much for TV and quite frankly hurt the league’s mission to develop American players.

    Kartik, I am disapointed that you have flipped on the issue of Canadian particpation in MLS. I also do not understand why the Canadians cannot have their own PDL league instead of particpating in USL’s PDL with the number of teams like the Ottawa Fury and the Thunder Bay Chill that now beat some American teams in PDL.

  11. John says:

    A bad night for MLS- All Stars lose, and TFC loses to a USL team at home.

    The TV ratings are pathetic. I agree with the sentiment above. I don’t know why you keep pushing NYC 2- froget that- Miami and Atlanta need to be the choices. In fact, it is beyond logical and if MLS expands anywhere else first it is further proof that they do not get the global game or the sports market.

    Additionally, I think further Canadian expansion needs to be curtailed. Look TFC was supossed to be our Monaco to quote the USSF and MLS at the time but right now while Canadian teams enhance the gate, they don’t do much for TV and quite frankly hurt the league’s mission to develop American players.

    Kartik, I am disapointed that you have flipped on the issue of Canadian particpation in MLS. I also do not understand why the Canadians cannot have their own PDL league instead of particpating in USL’s PDL with the number of teams like the Ottawa Fury and the Thunder Bay Chill that now beat some American teams in PDL.

  12. L D says:

    MLS is again struggling in CONCACAF. Should we be surprsied? For all of Garber’s bluster we seem to have gotten nowhere as far as actually improving the product.

    Those TV ratings are bad news. That many people saw how bad the US- an embarrasment. Thank goodness that was in Espanol. Hopefully no one watched in English.

  13. Rex says:

    50% Salvadorans at a home DC match? Wow, thats bad. Houston has a strong latin american population and a central american crowd has never made up more than 10%. Heck, even Chivas Guadalajara wasnt more than 50% when they came to Houston.

    @BayVol It was the Dynamo who have grabbed a point in Mexico but it was against Pumas in Olympic Stadium.

  14. LD, actually FSC has their highest rating ever for any event, a 0.8 for Sunday’s final. The overall viewership for the Gold Cup final was just slightly below the Confederations Cup Final overall.

  15. SSReporters says:

    “As this summer showcase always demonstrates Americans and MLS players can play at a high level against a top British club.”

    Seriously man this is a friendly. The current MLS clubs (not the All-Star XI) are struggling with El Salvadorian teams in Champions League play.

    If there is a serious international competition for MLS to show themselves then talk to me. Otherwise I take nothing from this game other than realizing Tim Howard is an awesome goalkeeper and should be the US’ #1 until he retires.

  16. Derek says:

    South Florida will instantly raise the profile of MLS, not only in terms of US TV ratings, but also in Latin America. It’s a no-brainer(and MLS had no brains running off in the first place with the Fusion!). MLS needs to find investors and get a team down here again, only done right this time.

  17. Derek says:

    P.S. A second team in NY will do little if anything to boost the league’s TV profile. Any rivalry wouldn’t have the generations of tradition and history. The only NY rivalry worth anything is the Yankees/Mets. NYC has a team, if they can watch the All Stars and the US they can rally behind the Red Bulls. The Jets/Giants play in Jersey and they have no problem supporting them.

    With a league spanning the entire US and Canada, at least 4 or 5 times the area any other league on Earth serves, and with soccer not being even close to the most popular sport, having two teams in one market makes ZERO sense. Splitting up the soccer fan base in cities for a 5th tier sport(8th if you count NASCAR and NCAA football and basketball) is downright stupid. There are too many cities who want/need MLS to have two teams in one, and there are plenty of city vs. city rivalries to spice things up.

    Get South Florida, Tampa, Atlanta, St. Louis, Montréal, and whoever else wants in first, then think about adding NYC2. Also I’m in favor of moving Chivas, at the very least to San Diego.

  18. MLS have allowed player talent to creep up a bit. The story should be that MLS executives, and not individual clubs, make that call. The only first division exhibition/franchise league rolls on.

    How did USMNT blow out compare to MLS club broadcast? Somehow I don’t think a ratings war is brewing.

    What if we were to free our first division from the exhibition franchise? Can’t we just give it a try? Do we really have to run soccer like Hooters?

  19. Mitch Howard says:

    Kartik,
    what does the winner of Gold Cup get? Does it get an automatic bid to another tournament?

  20. Uncle Ed says:

    MLS blundered leaving Miami in the first place. Time to bring a team back. People will support an MLS team, they are not too keen on USL.
    Support our efforts to bring a team back to Miami!
    http://www.miamisoccerfan.com/Soccer/Tickets.html

  21. Bill says:

    The Miami market is very fragmented. We need to do a better job by getting the interest from fans from these latin countries. A MLS team that would be international with popular players would be succesful especially now that they could play at FIU. And to get the attention from Latin America maybe it should be called “Miami Internacional”.
    A team in Miami is a must, but it has to be MLS.

  22. allan says:

    i dont think miami is a good spot. most of the latin people there are of the baseball countries. They include Cuba, Venezuela, Republica Dominicana, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico. These backgrounds make up the majority. Then you have Colombians, Peruvians, Argies etc.. but they are not as big compared to the other 5.

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