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8 Questions for ESPN

These questions for ESPN Soccer Programming Staff were sent to the highest levels at ESPN, and apparently they are afraid to answer these questions.  I wanted to know the answers to corroborate what a source at ESPN had told me.  I wanted a second source.  

While discussing ESPN’s relationship with MLS, the original source indicated that ESPN would like to see changes to Soccer that differs from how MLS sees things.  These are the questions I wanted answered.

  1. Are there rules changes to how soccer is being played that would make MLS more popular with sports fans in the U.S.?

  2. What does ESPN think would improve spectatorship and improve television ratings for MLS?

  3. Does ESPN feel that MLS is making a sufficient enough effort to attract sports fans to soccer? 

  4. Does ESPN think it is healthy to have an outside organization like FIFA dictating how things should function for MLS? 

  5. Does the Superliga and CONCACAF league play help or hurt the MLS? 

  6. Considering that the league plays from March to November, are 40 games for each team per season enough games to matter? 

  7. Did ESPN anticipate that soccer would replace hockey in popularity when it signed up with MLS?

  8.  Does ESPN think it would be a good idea for MLS to pair itself with a Women’s Pro League to play in the same cities and do doubleheaders (women’s game, then men’s game) for every time games are scheduled?

What questions would you ask ESPN, if given the opportunity to hear their real answers?

 

 

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    February 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    1. Are there rules changes to how soccer is being played that would make MLS more popular with sports fans in the U.S.? There should be no rule changes for soccer. This is a global game enjoyed around the World.
    2. What does ESPN think would improve spectatorship and improve television ratings for MLS? I think ESPN is the one who should be doing more in increase viewership. More advertising and should promote MLS more vigorously. It’s the biggest game in the World and it’s patriotic to support American soccer.
    3. Does ESPN feel that MLS is making a sufficient enough effort to attract sports fans to soccer?  I think MLS should do more in partnership with ESPN (and Fox) to promote MLS, USL,WPSL, University soccer, high school, youth soccer – the American game.
    4. Does ESPN think it is healthy to have an outside organization like FIFA dictating how things should function for MLS?  Soccer is a global game with a global organization. It’s not the place of ESPN to determine whether FIFA should be dictating how the World’s game is played. FIFA is the appropriate organization for running the World’s most popular sport.
    5. Does the Superliga and CONCACAF league play help or hurt the MLS?  Not if coordinated correctly.
    6. Considering that the league plays from March to November, are 40 games for each team per season enough games to matter?  It’s not up to ESPN to determine this.
    7. Did ESPN anticipate that soccer would replace hockey in popularity when it signed up with MLS? MLS is pretty much there already. Soccer as a whole has surpassed hockey in popularity.

     Does ESPN think it would be a good idea for MLS to pair itself with a Women’s Pro League to play in the same cities and do doubleheaders (women’s game, then men’s game) for every time games are scheduled? I think this would dilute out the profitability of each.

  2. eplnfl

    February 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Why ask questions? I mean what good can the answers produce. Yes, of course they want MLS to become the EPL. Even if it becomes the NHL they will be happy.

    We should take into account that ESPN has a big investment in soccer in international events like the World Cup and Euro tournament. The MLS helps keep audience for those events which ESPN has money into. Follow the money!

  3. Glubber

    February 25, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I’m with Andrew. ESPN want MLS to magically become the EPL. That’s what will appeal more signifcantly to American fans and up ratings.

    Otherwise they’d probably settle for it becoming the MFL.

    Or maybe I have that reversed?

  4. free bet

    February 25, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    ESPN soccer division will benefit a lot once the becks issue is solved and he comes back to LA, and the expansion BARCA_MIAMI team comes into action…

  5. Andrew

    February 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Mitch,

    Really?

    I’m pretty sure ESPN just wishes MLS could grow and BE the EPL. That’s the soccer product they WANT to market. However, the EPL product interferes with ESPN’s coverage of College and NFL Football.

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