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
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.