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Bundesliga regressing in United States: World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 91, Christopher Harris and Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• The latest update on the beIN SPORTS LaLiga situation in the US,
• News about the next round of Champions League games on US TV,
• Which game featuring a MLS team had more than 1 million viewers last week,
• And we have a bunch of letters from you, the listeners, in our mailbag section.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on Stitcher,
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  1. Azer

    October 7, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    The Bundesliga is the best league in the world, with the best commentators. What a match the world saw on Saturday Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg 4-3 the final, with Kevin Hatchard & Lutz Pfannelsteil on the world feed. A match that will be talked about for years.
    Unfortunately Fox Sports ruins the league again on Sunday, the noon ET match RB Leipzig vs FC Nurnberg with Rob Daly & Gerhard Tremmel on the world feed was shipped to Fox Soccer Plus in favor of horse racing on FS2.

    • Jon

      October 8, 2018 at 3:30 am

      The Dortmund v Augsburg game was a classic but 2 hours of Kevin Hatchard doesn’t do much to enhance it. You’re the first person I’ve encountered who likes his delivery.

      PS I love the Bundesliga but it’s certainly not the best league in the wold.

  2. Ivan

    October 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Dortmund Augsburg was epic, one of the games of the season, by far! Bayern Munchen struggling is excellent news as well.
    I was as many Bundesliga games as I can, it’s a top 4 league in the world.

  3. JP

    October 6, 2018 at 11:30 am

    After running some morning errands settled in to watch some soccer, find Dortmund/Ausburg 1-1 and keep watching. WHAT A MATCH!!!!! 4-3 with a stoppage time free kick winner. Infortunately probably no one watched yet again.

    For all the Bundesliga doubters and EPL fans…it has the fast pace of EPL but with more intelligent build up in play, compared to the kick and chase of the non Man City, Spurs, Chelsea clubs of EPL.

    Another dig at Fox, after the match while the announcer was in the middle of his remarks on the game, cut to commercial!! They can’t get it right.

  4. The Ole Ballcoach

    October 2, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I agree that Fox needs to promote better – especially with regards to Dortmund and Pulisic and Mckinney and Schalke. Those games should be on FS1 every week. But people also have to watch for this to work. If you are a Pulisic fan don’t you look to find out when and where he is playing each week? I do ?

  5. Edwin

    October 2, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I wish FOX would double or triple the amount of Bundesliga/MLS games from to 15/20 they could create a dedicated Bundesliga morning slot and air the MLS games in the afternoons from Apr to September play 1 game a week for MLS on BIG FOX and do the same when the Bundesliga season starts. They can promote is as Soccer Saturdays or something if they can get Bundesliga up to 500k that would be considered a success. That way cultivate an audience and give the fans a dedicated time slot. I’m not sure if it would work as well for Bundesliga as I think it would work for MLS but it’s at least a hail mary for them. I wonder what the Gaffer and Kartik think about it. Is this something FOX would be willing to do at this point Bundesliga is in real jeopardy as falling in US TV oblivion following leagues like Scottish Premiership and Ligue 1

  6. disco george

    October 2, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I always wonder how much the ‘competition factor’ weighs into the interest in Bundesliga matches. Bayern typically runs away with the title, so there isn’t the suspense that you might have from season-to-season as to which teams are going to be challengers.

    In some ways, it’s kind of the same situation that Serie A has with Juve, but ESPN’s being way more proactive about it — regular segments on ESPN FC with Mina/Gab/Paolo, the Serie Awesome podcast that drops automatically with the ESPN FC feed, digital segments on Web and the app, etc.

    It actually surprises me that Fox hasn’t run the Pulisic hype train and the interest in McKennie and the other kids into the ground, tbh.

  7. Edwin

    October 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

    It’s mentioned because the viewing figures back that up did you listen to the podcast Kartik and Christopher have talked about it. It’s not a t a promotion thing with the Bundesliga I believe its just a over saturated soccer TV market and there are just fewer eyeballs willing to watch Bundesliga at the moment. Kartik and Christopher have hinted or out right said Bundesliga league execs overestimated Bundesliga’s stature in the US and just thought there was a bigger appetite for German soccer than there was in the US. Heck even FOX did at the time when they bought rights in 2012/13 for about $100 mil a yr. The ratings have been 4-5x less than EPL, Liga MX and MLS.

    • JP

      October 2, 2018 at 11:10 am

      I’m not disputing the viewing figures, those are facts. But think the reason has a lot to do with promotion, or lack there of. The Liga MX matches are carried on Univision properties and assume they promote them well (I don’t regularly watch those channels so can’t confirm 1st hand). The higher rated MLS matches are also on Univision properties. If given the promotion NBC gives EPL, no doubt in my mind the Bundesliga figures would improve for Fox. Right now it is invisible.

      I have seen EPL promotions on regional NBCSN affiliates. Fox doesn’t even promote on FS1/FS2 unless during a post match show. Actually don’t even recall promotions when they initially got the contract, read it online. NBC did promotions well advance of their initial season with EPL. Night and day.

      As for ESPN, last Serie A match I watched that was carried on cable had promotion for ESPN+ in general, and more of an MLS match later that day. Strategy appears to use the Serie A match of the week to get Serie A fans to subscribe to ESPN+ rather than promote Serie A for ESPN ratings.

      • Edwin

        October 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm

        I agree but I think agree part of it is just the laziness of FOX they do a poor job of promoting their soccer properties. They just expect that if you are interested you should watch but fail to realize they have to create compelling story lines. I just thing they thought they were going to get or recreate something similar to what NBC has with EPL. They didn’t get those numbers and have given up. FOX is used to dealing with established properties see their purchase of WWE or those they think they can have guaranteed growth like MLS (Expansion) they’re terrible at doing the ground work of cultivating an audience.

  8. Dana Minor

    October 1, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Saturday, 29 Sep I turned on my TV at 730 and was surprised to see a Bundesliga game in progress. At first I thought it was a repeat from the previous week but then I saw Live superimposed on the screen.
    I pretty quickly realized that it was a Bundesliga 2 game between Hamburg and St Pauli. Fifty-seven thousand fans in a stadium for a second tier matchup. You won’t see that in most leagues. Even though the game turgid I was excited that I didn’t have to wait until 930 for Bundesliga action.
    But what I do not understand is why Fox did nothing to let their regular Bundesliga viewers know they were going to be running the game at this time.
    Fox does an awful job of promoting it’s product. The DFB has to move into the 21st century but it also has to find a better broadcast partner than Fox.

    • Edwin

      October 2, 2018 at 12:12 am

      I don’t think it matters the numbers and wider interest that you get with EPL, La Liga or even MLS is just isn’t there I agree FOX does a poor job but with all its properties see MLS. But for a league like the Bundesliga is supposed to have cache it often times gets beat by MLS a growng but inferior product by 3-4x fold. I agree with Chris and Kartik Bundesliga is headed for B/R Live, BEIN or ESPN+. It’s just not a Tier 1 soccer TV product in terms of getting viewers, Games are routinely drawing 60-80k on FS1 and 20-40k on FS2.

      • Edwin

        October 2, 2018 at 12:15 am

        Meant to Liga MX not La Liga

      • JP

        October 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

        I agree with Dana in that it’s more about lack of promotion. Everytime I have a chance to watch Bundesliga it’s always very entertaining. The casual fans who probably don’t have beIN to watch La Liga or ESPN+ for Serie A should be consuming this product. Very often better than EPL.

        Fox and ESPN both do a horrible job with their soccer promotion compared to NBC and beIN. NBC promotes the matches across all their properties. Fox and ESPN only promote future matches during soccer telecasts, waste the time they have viewers attention during other events and may not already be prone to watching (promoting during a soccer match is fine, but preaching to the choir).

        ESPN was the same when they had EPL. NBC proved it could get ratings if promoted properly, FOX and ESPN choose not to.

      • JP

        October 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

        You always mention MLS, Liga MX, and EPL as being the most popular leagues here. I must be the very rare bird who doesn’t find EPL matches all that exciting and never watches MLS or Liga MX.

        Chelsea/Liverpool would’ve been one the the few EPL matches I’d watch, but conflicted with Juve/Napoli so only caught a bit at HT and when the Napoli match ended.

    • R.O

      October 6, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Fox did do some promotion of the HSV-St.Pauli game. Reason was that Ian Joy played for St. Pauli. Could the promo been done better, yes. I only watched the last 30 minutes of the game because for us on the West Coast game started at 4:30 am. To early for me.

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