Category: Leagues: Major League Soccer

Opening weekend MLS TV ratings climb due to Chicharito, Beckham and primetime effect

If you’re MLS, how do you make sure that the opening weekend of games have greater TV rating numbers than last season’s opening weekend? You put a game on FOX in primetime and you sign Mexican star Javier Hernandez. Enticed by the prospect of a brand-new expansion team playing at home against the most exciting team in Major League Soccer, televising Nashville versus Atlanta on FOX in primetime made perfect sense, and was bound to generate a lot of interest. In another smart marketing move, MLS scheduled the debut game for Mexican star Chicharito live on the over-the-air Univision network, ... Read more

Review of MLS TV coverage from opening weekend: On The Soccer Media with Kartik Krishnaiyer

TUDN kicked off Major League Soccer’s 25th season with the debut of arguably the league’s second-biggest ever signing, Chicharito. It was the highlight of a day-long of soccer on TUDN, beginning with the Bundesliga in the morning, running through Chicharito’s MLS debut for the LA Galaxy against Houston and culminating with Liga MX. Chicharito has a unique ability to move the needle in a way no other available active player can for MLS on TV. TUDN started the season with a three man booth led byJose Luis Lopez Salido. Throughout the match Diego Balado, Raul Guzman and Iván Kasanzew kept ... Read more

What MLS can learn from the NBA

As Major League Soccer celebrates its 25th season in 2020, it continues to chase the elusive goal of mainstream relevance. With a small but passionate fanbase, a sprinkling of stars on a handful of blue chip clubs, mediocre TV ratings, and an underwhelming New York City team, MLS is like where the NBA was before David Stern became commissioner in 1984. Stern, who passed away on New Years Day, reigned over an NBA that rose from tape-delayed anonymity to become America’s second most popular pro league. There’s a lot that a league like MLS can learn from Stern’s triumphant yet ... Read more

How XFL and other sports sharing MLS stadiums are impacting field conditions

Watching LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and DC United matches this year might be a little more, well, xtreme. That’s because these three storied MLS clubs will be sharing their stadiums with the LA Wildcats, DC Defenders, and Seattle Dragons of Vince McMahon’s reborn XFL. While most MLS clubs are now meticulous about pitch maintenance, sharing stadiums with football teams brings back bad memories of the league’s early days when clubs like the MetroStars at Giants Stadium played on confusing fields featuring painted lines for both football and soccer.  The LA Galaxy just finished hosting the NFL’s Chargers so its stadium ... 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

NYCFC broadcasts make it harder than ever for fans to watch team

In 2019, NYCFC matches aired locally in the New York metro area on the YES Network and YES2. Nationally, NYCFC appeared on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, Univision, and Unimás. The club’s matches also streamed on three different platforms: FOX Sports Go, Twitter, and MLS Live on ESPN+. That’s ten different viewing options for what is only a 34-game regular season. More isn’t merrier when supporters have to hustle to hunt down exactly where they can watch their club’s matches every week. NYCFC local broadcast home is the YES Network because the Yankees own 20% of the MLS club. But being on ... Read more

Next MLS TV rights deal could make or break U.S. league

An industry analyst estimates that the MLS expansion fees could increase from $200 million to as much as $600 million for teams 31 and 32 in order for team owners to try to recoup their investment in the league because the TV revenue numbers don’t work otherwise.  In an interview with Pro Soccer USA, industry analyst Corey Leff said that MLS owners are making less than $3 million a year from TV revenue based on the current TV deal that generates $90 million a year for the league for rights to MLS, USMNT and USWNT but that $90 million is ... Read more

Seattle-Toronto MLS Cup Final disappoints with 1.27 million viewers

Major League Soccer’s 2019 final between Seattle and Toronto averaged 1.27 million viewers across ABC, Univision and TUDN combined, according to Nielsen fast nationals. Overall, the 2019 MLS Cup Final viewing number on ABC (823,000) is a significant disappointment considering that last year’s Final aired on the free-to-air FOX network, which averaged 1.56 million viewers for Atlanta United-Portland. Sunday’s final was the first time in more than 10 years that the MLS Cup Final was televised on ABC, a free-to-air network that aired the most-watched MLS Cup Final of all time with 2.2 million viewers in 1997. On Spanish-language television, ... Read more