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ESPN+ leaves competitors in the dust: World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is a weekly podcast about watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 116, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• ESPN+ go Copa crazy, and what that means for their competitors,
• Chris & Kartik’s excellent adventure at the FIFA press conference,
• A US broadcaster picks up the rights to the International Champions Cup,
• Our favorite games of the 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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• Listen to all of our episodes of the World Soccer Talk Podcast on Spotify,
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  1. Azer

    March 25, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    The competitors will solve a mystery and leave ESPN plus in a dustbin of history.

  2. NashRambler

    March 23, 2019 at 8:44 pm


    My understanding of your reporting on the ESPN+ rights for Copa America is that the deal is only for the 2019 tournament. This leads into a question I have asked you previously and that is the possibility of future combined Conmebol and Concacaf Copa America tournaments. The Copa America is to occur again in 2020 to set up a new cycle for the tournament every four years in the even numbered years between World Cup tournaments. I’m wondering if no U.S. TV rights have been determined yet because of the possibility that the U.S. and Mexico teams will be in the 2020 tournament which is set to be hosted by Colombia.

    This year’s tournament will have 12 teams with the 10 South American teams and two invited teams which are Qatar and Japan. The plan for next year is 16 teams which will require 6 teams from outside of South America to make up the numbers. My hope is that there will be an agreement to send the top 6 Concacaf teams to the Copa America next year. What are you hearing about negotiations between Conmebol and Concacaf regarding the 2020 Copa America?


    • JP

      March 25, 2019 at 9:13 am

      A Copa America with the US and Mexico would become the biggest soccer property in America other than the WC (provided the US qualifies). Match start times conducive to USA and Mexico fans alike.
      Simultaneously, would hurt the value of the Euros if played on the same 4 year cycle as you suggest.

  3. JP

    March 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Not to be an MLS apologist, but there were mitigating factors to their low ratings on Sunday. There were numerous conference tournament championship games for college basketball throughout the afternoon and then the selection show for the NCAA tournament in the early evening. This is a huge draw for even the casual sports fan in America. Might also impact the USA/Ecuador friendly tonight (Thursday) as it’s the 1st real day of the tournament.

    In addition, our time change here caused some matches in Europe to conflict with even a 5PM MLS start time. Milan vs Inter from 3:30-5:30 (instead of 2:30-4:30) and Betis vs Barca from 3:45-5:45 (instead of 2:45-3:45). People predisposed to watching soccer may have been dissuaded from tuning into MLS knowing both of those other matches were starting soon after 3PM, and/or they forgot about the 5PM match after finishing one of them.

    Quite frankly, if they switched over to the Cincinnati vs LAFC match after either Milan/Inter (one of the best matches of the year) or Betis/Barca (Messi at his best) it was likely unwatchable in comparison.

    • Edwin

      March 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Exactly and its way too small of a sample size to even make any sort of claim about how MLS will do this year, I don’t care about being called a MLS apologist or not I just care about fairness. We hear this every year with MLS doom and gloom in regards to TV ratings and some people commenting what the league needs to do to matter because no one even cares or watches. Then MLS post a TV gain for going on the 6th straight year since 2012 and it’s crickets from those people.

      Now I’m not saying MLS will or won’t post a another consecutive TV rating gain but if it doesn’t their shouldn’t be this see we were right its a failure from those who don’t really even watch MLS. It would just mean MLS has posted TV gains in 6 out of 7 yrs going back to 2019.

      • Edwin

        March 25, 2019 at 12:49 pm


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