Author: Christopher Harris

Publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris founded the site in 2005. 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 was born and raised in Wales, has lived in Florida since 1984, and supported Swansea City since 1979. Last but not least, he got engaged during half-time of a MLS game.

From NASL to USL, Tampa Bay Rowdies passion still runs strong

On a picture-perfect Florida spring evening this past Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rowdies hosted Louisville City at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. For this, my very first visit to Al Lang Stadium, I found that there’s a lot to love about the stadium, and the fans that fill it. Sitting on the edge of a bay with a cool breeze blowing through the stands, you’d be hard pressed to find a more picturesque stadium in all of the United States. And just as the stadium has plenty of character, so too do the fans with an age range from ... Read more

MLS fails to close TV ratings gap with Premier League and Liga MX

As the popularity of Liga MX and the Premier League continue to grow in the United States based on the way both leagues monopolize the most-watched games on US TV each week, MLS is getting left behind. At World Soccer Talk, we analyzed all of the TV ratings data for 2018 to see how the three most popular soccer leagues performed. We went ahead and made it a direct comparison by only including the TV viewing numbers for the length of the MLS season to see how they did head-to-head. Let’s look at the total TV audience numbers: League 2016 ... Read more

Which league’s TV ratings declined the most after the World Cup?

The name of the game for soccer leagues shown on US television is to figure out a way to take advantage of the hype and interest in a men’s World Cup tournament, and to attract those viewers to their respective leagues after the FIFA tournament is over. According to research by World Soccer Talk, some leagues did better than others after the 2018 FIFA World Cup ended. Before diving into the statistics, though, we first need to mention that there are two important factors happening after a World Cup tournament. (1) the viewing figures for league games will dwindle in ... Read more

NBCSN to debut Manchester United treble-anniversary documentary on April 28

NBCSN will debut a brand-new documentary to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of Manchester United’s incredible 1999 treble-winning season. Schedule to air on April 28 at 2:30PM ET on NBCSN, The Impossible Dream features interviews with Sir Alex Ferguson, Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer, Gary Lineker, Jim Rosenthal, David Beckham, Andrew Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, Ryan Giggs and many others. Co-produced by Manchester United, the two-hour documentary will air after the Manchester United match against Chelsea. The film will recall the 1998/99 season where United won the FA Cup, Premier League and UEFA Champions League. The film opens with images from the festive ... Read more

NBC Premier League Fan Fests create deeper connections with soccer fans in US

Photo credit: NBC Sports Group. For English-language soccer fans in the United States, no league has done a better job in connecting with supporters throughout the country than the Premier League courtesy of NBC Sports. So far this season, NBC Sports has already launched two Premier League fan festivals. And the third one, to be held in Boston this weekend, will be the broadcaster’s most ambitious one yet. Staged over two days instead of the one-day events that we’re accustomed to, the Boston Fan Fest will be next door to an iconic venue that will be familiar to Americans for ... Read more

2019 International Champions Cup lineup is disappointing compared to previous years

Since launching the annual soccer tournament in 2013, the one constant about the International Champions Cup has been change. But this summer, more than any other, the changes have led to a lineup that is rather underwhelming. The clubs participating in this summer’s tournament in the United States are AC Milan, Arsenal, AS Roma, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chivas and Real Madrid. While the return of Zinedine Zidane’s side to US soil is welcomed, the remaining teams don’t have as much of a wow factor. Chivas, making their first appearance in the ICC, will be cheered by huge numbers ... Read more

ESPN+ acquires Copa América rights in English and Portuguese for US market

Popular streaming service ESPN+ has acquired the English-language and Portuguese-language rights to the 2019 CONMEBOL Copa América for viewers in the United States, a source revealed to World Soccer Talk. With Telemundo Deportes already having acquired the Spanish-language rights in the United States, that means that soccer fans will have plenty of choices this summer when they watch the tournament that will feature a line-up of South America’s biggest soccer stars including Brazil’s Neymar, Copa América Winner Luis Suarez of Uruguay, Argentinian soccer legend Lionel Messi, and Colombia’s James Rodriguez, among many others. All 26 games will be broadcast live ... Read more

MLS begins 2019 season with disappointing TV ratings on ESPN, FS1 and Univision

Major League Soccer has kicked off 2019 right where it finished the 2018 regular season with disappointing TV viewing numbers on English-language television across both ESPN and FOX Sports, and a surprising drop in viewership on the Spanish-language Univision Deportes. Compared to the 2018 opening weekend, the viewing numbers for the nationally televised games this past weekend were: • Down 24% on Univision for Orlando-New York City, • Down 13% on ESPN for DC United-Atlanta United, • Up just 6% for LA Galaxy-Chicago and Seattle-Cincinnati on FS1. While the 6% increase on FS1 might seem positive, the average of 186,000 for both games ... Read more