Author: 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.

Rating each network on how it promotes its soccer coverage

Soccer fans in the United States often complain that the sport isn’t properly advertised or promoted by the networks who hold the rights to show the most popular leagues. While soccer still sits behind many other sports in terms of promotion, some networks do a better job than others in making viewers aware of what soccer properties they air. The success of a league measured by TV viewing numbers can be attributed to several factors outside of how entertaining a league is. After all, if no one knows when the games are being televised, it can have a dramatic impact ... Read more

ESPN+ breaks new ground for soccer streaming in United States

Launched in April 2018, ESPN’s premium over-the-top streaming product recently cleared the 1,000,000 subscriber mark in less than six months since its inception. The service is proving dynamic and flexible for ESPN’s parent company Disney who has both moved existing soccer content such as ESPNFC and the EFL Championship to the OTT service while also acquiring new rights including Serie A and the FA Cup, among other properties, to bolster the network’s offerings. The price point for ESPN+ – $4.99 a month – continues to be attractive for consumers including both cord cutters and those who continue to pay for ... Read more

MLS will hit point of diminishing returns if league doesn’t embrace change

MLS continues to pat itself on the back. And why shouldn’t it, many would ask? The 2018 season has seen MLS reach new heights in visibility and quality of play relative to a past when the league existed in a complete vacuum and the level of soccer on display was average by any truly objective standard. But permanent growth is difficult in a closed-league, single-entity (MLS) or franchise-based (USL) structure. The American club game will hit a point of diminishing returns in the next few years unless serious reforms are undertaken. Capturing the masses of American-based soccer fans who watch ... Read more

The future of soccer broadcasting is going to get expensive for consumers

In the next five years, we are certain to see more volatility in the way soccer is broadcast and delivered to US audiences. As the broadcast and media industry in the United States continues to evolve in order to adjust to new realities in terms of audiences, it’s likely that change will be a common theme for the next several years as well as adding more confusing for consumers as they try to watch their favorite club, league or tournament. It will undoubtedly also get more expensive to be a soccer fan in the United States due to these changes. ... Read more

ESPN Plus’ niche audiences could help increase MLS exposure

Self-dubbed as the “Netflix for sports,” ESPN Plus, a new streaming service from Disney is set to make its debut this spring. Beyond the recycling nomenclature once used by ESPN to brand syndicated college sports broadcasts on regional sports networks and local over-the-air channel, this concept is entirely new. The service will cost just $4.99 a month, but serves as a hybrid of sorts — giving access to ESPN and ESPN programming if you have a cable or satellite subscription to those channels, but also offering a slew of niche sports which are exclusively available via ESPN Plus but don’t require ... Read more

Carlos Cordeiro’s tenure will be judged by how he handles Soccer United Marketing (SUM)

After Carlos Cordeiro’s election win this past weekend as US Soccer Federation (USSF) President, the general sense is that Cordeiro’s management style will be different than his predecessor Sunil Gulati and that he will attempt to find a more consensus-based approach to issues. But in terms of general policies and positions, he doesn’t differ from Gulati very much except in one notable place — the role of Soccer United Marketing (SUM) as the media partner of US Soccer. SUM, which is owned by MLS and was created specifically to allow the league to enter the sports marketing and media business ... Read more

FA Cup rights in US could switch to streaming-only beginning in 2018/19 season

When it comes to the future of the FA Cup television and streaming rights in the United States, the FA’s slogan for this season’s FA Cup tournament, “Nothing is Certain,” is quite apt. FOX Sports deal with the Football Association (FA) for rights to the FA Cup in the US market expires at the end of this season. The competition it can be strongly argued has failed to benefit from the surging popularity of the Premier League in the United States thanks in large measure to being stuck on FOX’s family of networks while the league itself has enjoyed a ... Read more

ESPN could be go-to network for World Cup analysis instead of FOX Sports

For immediate analysis on TV after the FIFA World Cup Draw wrapped up on December 1, soccer fans in the United States had several choices to choose from. For most of them, the easiest way was to continue watching the coverage on FOX Sports 1. However, the viewers “voted” by watching the analysis on a completely different network — one that doesn’t even have the rights to the FIFA 2018 World Cup. The World Cup Draw wrap-up show on ESPN2 was watched by more viewers than the Draw itself on FS1. And importantly, ESPN2’s broadcast doubled the viewership from FS1’s post ... Read more