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Highs and lows of soccer’s virtual fans experiment: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 176, Christopher Harris and co-host Nick Webster cover a range of topics including:

• News about FA Cup games moving to ESPN
• Italian soccer sells out to a soft drinks maker
• MLS broadcasters squabble over TV costs
• NWSL announces their CBS TV plans
• Premier League wobbles on opening day of restart
• Plus letters from you, the listeners, in our mailbag section.

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

Launched in 2006, the World Soccer Talk Podcast is the longest running podcast on the planet. Every week, we share the latest news about watching soccer on television and streaming, in addition to discussing what we like and dislike, and featuring your questions and feedback in our Listener Mailbag segment.

HEAR MORE: Listen to our archive featuring hundreds of soccer interviews

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

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. disco george

    June 23, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    The discussion on the podcast about MLS’ approach to the MLS Is Back tournament reminded me of something that was brought up about MLS on TV a few podcasts ago. Your argument was that most MLS teams have no identity, and used RSL and SKC as an example of something that wouldn’t catch the interest of the country at large.

    The thing is, if the league office didn’t equate ‘identity’ with tifos and 50K attendances and actually tried to develop some of the stories around MLS, there are narratives out there that could attract audiences. RSL and SKC have one of the few organic rivalries in the league — one that built up over years between both the players and the fans, and encompassed controversial endings in both regular season and playoff matches.

    But since it doesn’t have a ‘cute’ Rivalry Week name and there are no big-name foreign stars involved, the league and its TV partners just pretend like it doesn’t exist, so the old trope that the smaller clubs are all the same and never do anything interesting continues to prevail.

  2. JP

    June 19, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Nick has been a nice change of pace filling in for Kartik. Nothing against Kartik, but imagine the discussion about the ESPN and Fox squabble on production costs would’ve turn into Fox bash session for being too cheap and not caring about soccer etc. Nick actually pointed out ESPN’s projections may be too high, and given the probable ratings, it likely won’t be recouped anyway, Fox is being prudent.

    Regarding MLS vs European leagues. Yeah I’m sure most would choose La Liga most of the time, but most of the time they don’t directly complete with MLS time slots. MLS’s competition is other US sports, as EDWIN has already commented. To beat a dead horse, EPL and other European leagues would see a ratings dip if they directly competed with US Sport time slots (as seen when NFL is in season for afternoon matches?)

    • Turfit

      June 19, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      I’m not a fan of Fox, but $125,000 per match is outrageous when a lot of those matches will be lucky to get 125,000 viewers especially on Fox Sports. Cost of productions should be lowers since it is all at the same location. Coming off of a lock-down, how will they recoup money from advertisers? Articles that I have seen states most businesses is cutting back on advertising to recoup money they have lost during the lock-down. Next year or two may be bad for leagues that are renewing their TV contracts and MLS is one of them. But also the next year or two will be hard on Broadcasters that is tied up in an overpriced contracts with leagues if they are not able to keep their sponsors.
      Got to end this reply here, FC Barcelona is about to play and I need to watch!!!

  3. EDWIN

    June 19, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Grammatical Error
    They’re*

  4. Robert

    June 18, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Maybe I am naive in my support for our league. Being a football snob who believes watching what they consider the best football is not going to help build football here. I have seen some terrible games watching the EPL and La Liga. So, Nick watch what you want to but your opinion is meaningless as far as I am concerned!

    • EDWIN

      June 19, 2020 at 9:09 am

      Yes Robert your comment that found it’s way onto this weeks Pod discussion was spot on. Too often these pundits look and talk about things with a foreign mindset as if they were looking at MLS from across the UK, with that mindset. You were right MLS isn’t overly concerned with what the Foreign leagues are doing. Why would they care when the already pull higher TV numbers than 4 out of the 5. MLS concern is trying to pull viewership in from the other 4 of the Big 5 leagues fans who have sat around craving for the normalcy of American Sports to return in prime time. Another underrated factor are Vegas gambling Industry and bettors who want more sports to bet on.

      • Jackson

        June 19, 2020 at 10:49 am

        They hate the mls lmao
        They find every way to hate on the product

  5. EDWIN

    June 18, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Great Pod guys but I do disagree with you and Nick’s take disagree on the last listeners response segment on the topic of MLS not worrying about other global soccer leagues TV getting back on TV vs only being concerned with being the first among the Major US Big 5 leagues.

    Nick mentioned 9 times out of 10 you’re gonna watch a La Liga game over MLS. That exposes your two blind spot. Maybe that comment is true among foreign oriented soccer minds like yourself and Nick but MLS ratings are higher than La Liga in the US. Their higher than Serie A/Bundesliga/ and Ligue 1. All leagues with better talent. It’s not always about the talent but the cultural connection.

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