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ESPN’s SportsCenter Only Covers Soccer 1.3% Of The Time: Daily Soccer Report

espn sportscenter 600x337 ESPNs SportsCenter Only Covers Soccer 1.3% Of The Time: Daily Soccer Report

The amount of airtime dedicated to soccer in the past 12 months on the United States’s top sports news program ESPN’s SportsCenter was a paltry 1.3 per cent, according to a study by Deadspin.

Out of the 289 hours of actual airtime (minus commercials) that the study measured, soccer was covered for 3.6 hours. The only two other sports that received less airtime were tennis and the Olympics.

So what does the data tell us? One, it’s good news that ESPN has decided to launch a daily soccer news program beginning August 11, so the sport can get a dedicated 3 hours a week of guaranteed coverage. Two, while the sport is growing exponentially in the United States, it still hasn’t been widely accepted by mainstream jock programs. And three, in order for soccer fans to seek out the best quality and greatest quantity of coverage, the Internet is — and will continue to be — the best option for news and highlights. After FOX Soccer shuts down in early September, the only 24/7 dedicated soccer network remaining in the United States is GolTV. beIN SPORT, while focusing mainly on soccer, features other world sports as part of its programming. And FOX Sports 1 is going to have a myriad of NASCAR, UHC and other sports, including soccer, on its network. Lastly, FOX Soccer Plus features a combination of soccer, rugby league and other sports.

TV in the United States is no longer the best or first place to go to for up-to-the-minute news or highlights.

Here are today’s world soccer news headlines:

International soccer

Premier League

Football League

Eredivisie

Serie A

The Daily Soccer Report is your morning guide to the latest world soccer news headlines, so you don’t have to spend an hour or more scanning the Internet. We do all the work for you. Read The Daily Soccer Report on World Soccer Talk every morning to stay on top of all the news that matters.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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12 Responses to ESPN’s SportsCenter Only Covers Soccer 1.3% Of The Time: Daily Soccer Report

  1. Pete Q says:

    25% of their nighttime edition is spent screaming that they’re “Live from Los Angeles!”…like it f**kin matters.

  2. Pete Q says:

    Another 30% is spent on some sort of story about LeBron James.

  3. Bryan says:

    I’m confused- I thought Fox was still going to be showing Champions League and FA Cup games this season. Is that incorrect ?

  4. Dean Stell says:

    I think this all relates to what sports ESPN has rights to carry. Basically, they cover as “news” the sports where they have the rights to show live games.

    There have been a LOT of examples of niche sports seeing their coverage go up when ESPN acquired rights to show live games. It happens with soccer, but I’ve also seen it happen with boxing, horse racing, NASCAR, hockey, etc. When ESPN has the rights, they make sure to cover the sport. When they don’t have the rights, they don’t care and cover the sports that they DO have rights to.

    I’d expect ESPN’s EPL coverage to dwindle now that they don’t show an EPL game every Saturday morning.

    It’s a total conflict of interest that shows that Sportscenter isn’t toally a “news” program. It also has promotional aspects to it.

    But, ESPN isn’t the only one. If you read NBC’s soccer blog (prosoccertalk or something like that), you noticed that their coverage shifted to 90% EPL once they won the rights to EPL. You’d even see commenters complaining, “Gosh….all you talk about is EPL. What about Spanish and German football?” But, NBC doesn’t have rights to those leagues so they’re not going to cover them in the same breathless fashion that they cover United pursuit of Barca midfielders.

  5. Peter C says:

    For what it’s worth, the value of US domestic tv contracts for MLS is less than one half of one percent of the NFL.
    Around $28M v $5.95B.

    In the USA, money talks, in one fashion or another.

    • Flyvanescence says:

      The ratings reflect those values, although English matches usually got much higher ratings than mls

  6. rkujay says:

    The reasons for coverage in any news venue are myriad, but some statistics.
    For sake of this discourse, I’ll call it Throwball…

    A throwball match is on TV for 3 hours. The clock runs for 60 minutes. They actually run plays, that is to say punt, pass and kick for some twelve minutes of that sixty.
    A football match is on for two hours. Two forty-five minute halves and a fifteen minute break. The play effectively never stops until the half.

    What do they do in throwball for the extra…and let’s be very very lenient and say extra hour? They sell beer and cars.
    Until and unless American advertisers can see their way to the effectiveness of pitch side advertising, football will be a novelty sport in the USA.
    And I’m not even going to address the lack of a system to produce and promote native talent.

    When my (now)37 year old son was 6 and starting to play footy, I was told that “Soccer is the next big thing in America”. Fast forward to today.
    Football will ALWAYS be the next big thing here.

  7. Jessica says:

    Looks like this proves that the internet is the present and future of sports coverage. The internet is everywhere. With tv, you have to sit in front of the tv waiting for commercial breaks just to see the coverage you want.

  8. Bayou says:

    Believe me, you don’t want ESPN covering soccer any more than that. It’s painful listening to their pundits attempt to discuss the game. Just painful.

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