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.

Power of Disney+ and soccer’s importance in streaming: On The Soccer Media

Last week, SportBusiness writer Bob Williams reported growing ESPN+ numbers. While encouraging, they do not come anywhere close to the subscriber numbers for Disney+ which was launched about 18 months after ESPN+. What this tells us is that the Disney+ bundle that includes ESPN+ has been purchased by fewer than a third of subscribers to Disney’s new streaming service. But it also reflects the sheer power of Disney to gain so many sign-ups for direct-to-consumer in such a short period of time partly thanks to an incredibly low price point.  The ESPN+ number, while growing at an impressive rate, is ... Read more

Impact of CBA on MLS media rights: On The Soccer Media

Editor’s note: Every week, World Soccer Talk Senior Writer Kartik Krishnaiyer shares his observations of watching world soccer on US television and streaming, as well as insights into the latest developments within the soccer TV media industry. MLS CBA and its impact on media rights  Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) agreed between the MLS Players Union and the league last week, “Beginning in 2023 and 2024, MLS will increase player spending by an amount equal to 25% of the increased media revenue above the amount generated by the league in 2022 plus $100 million.”  The league’s current national ... Read more

NWSL needs long-term TV partner: On The Soccer TV Media column

Welcome to my new weekly column that will review broadcast media happenings around the soccer world. Every Monday, I’ll discuss the latest happenings in the US soccer broadcast media scene and throw some reporting tidbits and analysis in there. NWSL TV deal for 2020On Friday, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported that NWSL will not remain on ESPN this season. Somewhat surprising: I'm told ESPN will not be getting the NWSL broadcast rights this year. Finalists are CBS Sports, NBC/Telemundo and BeIN Sports. — Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 31, 2020 One source told me on background that NWSL going to NBC ... Read more

FA Cup weekends have gone the way of international breaks: Largely irrelevant

Just 7,616 attended Preston’s FA Cup game Saturday despite the stadium having a capacity of 23,404.   • Despite top English clubs competing in the FA Cup Third Round, fans of most clubs have ‘checked out’ on watching their favorite club — both in person and on television.   • Clubs laser-focused on league place in Premier League and impact of UEFA Champions League have pushed FA Cup way down the list of priorities.   • Fans’ obsession with Premier League and Champions League have marginalized international breaks, FA Cup and other lesser important competitions.   Ten years ago this weekend, Leeds United defeated ... Read more

MLS games drowned out by better quality and quantity of foreign leagues on TV

Many soccer fans in the United States are accustomed to getting up in the morning and watching matches from Europe, leading to burnout by the end of each weekend day. Others focus on Liga MX and Latin American competitions that run concurrent with Major League Soccer and USL Championship matches. Others simply don’t like the product offered by the domestic league in the United States and opt not to watch it. MLS TV ratings are poorer in the fall than during the summer. For those who take a very narrow Americanized-view of things this is due to the start of ... Read more

US Soccer must unbundle USWNT from MLS and SUM TV rights deal

In the wake of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) FIFA Women’s World Cup triumph, much has been discussed in terms of equal pay for female players. What seems to be missing from the discussion, however, is how much potential revenue the US women lose because of the co-mingling of broadcast and media rights of US Soccer Federation (USSF) properties with those of Major League Soccer (MLS). The contract for these rights is not held by some media company or broadcast channel but by Soccer United Marketing (SUM), which is owned by MLS. While transparency has never been a strong ... Read more

Review of FOX’s Women’s World Cup TV coverage, opening weekend

FOX Sports’ second cycle as the US English-language FIFA rights holder has begun this summer with coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Following last summer’s coverage of Russia 2018, FOX seems to have returned to a “back-to-basics” approach with Women’s World Cup. Studio Rob Stone, as a host, continues to be styled more for American sports. He began FOX’s month of live Women’s World Cup coverage with stand up at Eiffel Tower and interjected stand-up spots throughout the weekend. But Stone, for all his drawbacks, is smooth and an advocate for ... Read more

How things could have been so different if MLS had continued on NBC Sports

There’s no doubt that NBC Sports has transformed the fortunes and perception of the Premier League in the United States, but it is often forgotten NBC Sports actually acquired the rights to show Major League Soccer (MLS) for three seasons from 2012-2014 before they acquired the US’ Premier League rights. NBC’s coverage of MLS was outstanding enough to win plaudits from fans and media, but as the US-based top flight league approaching its nineteenth season, MLS executives were — according to a World Soccer Talk source — demanding a massive increase in the rights fees to broadcast the domestic league, which ... Read more