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Interview with TUDN about rebrand, Chivas rights and Bundesliga: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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

In the NEW episode, number 137, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• The impact of Christian Pulisic on NBCSN’s viewing figures,
• An interview with Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Sports at Univision Communications, to learn about Chivas TV, Spanish-language Bundesliga TV rights and more,
• Hope Solo makes her debut at beIN SPORTS,
• First impressions of the new Bundesliga & LaLiga seasons,
• 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 web@worldsoccertalk.com, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Uday

    August 25, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Great show on August 22.

    Just an FYI

    I watch foreign league matches mainly if an American is featured

    I like MLS matches because they are competitive and there’s parity in the league

    For foreign league matches the outcome is very predictable if big plays a small team

    NBCSN coverage and analysis of premier league matches is excellent

    • DT

      August 25, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      This weekend alone;
      Villa beating Everton
      Palace beating United
      Newcastle beating Spurs

      Then newly promoted Norwich who have spent basically nothing giving Chelsea a game who still added £100m+ of players even with transfer ban. Burnley nearly taking all 3 points from Wolves.

      Yea, very predictable.

  2. joe

    August 25, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Ironically, the only domestic leagues with higher ratings are EPL and Liga Mx, you’d never know it on here. Also the excitement you see in so many parks these days, that’s the story that should be printed,. Atmosphere now and 12 years ago is night and day. Cities are lining up to join league, but yeah let’s harp on about the ratings that are unlikely to change. The playoff system works well in this country, if we had single table, we would have another boring runaway league to follow with LAFC up by 12 or so points. So many boring leagues in Europe over the last decade (Bayern, Juve, PSG, Real/Barce, Celtic, PSV/Ajax etc.).

  3. Barry

    August 25, 2019 at 2:16 am

    According to Nielsen’s Television Audience Report in 2018 only 6% of television households in the United States received their TV signal exclusively over the air. In 2018 MLS broadcasts averaged 276,000, 39% lower than the premier league average of 449,000.

    I find it hard to believe that not having an additional 6% coverage is a major reason why MLS ratings lag almost 40% behind the premier league.

  4. DT

    August 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    There’s a lot of whiny MLS fans on here. If you like MLS good for you, but when 60% of the teams make the playoffs then you really shouldn’t get upset when other football fans don’t bother watching. Whatever will you guys do when the league stops expanding since that’s the main thing MLS fans talk about. I guess it will be back to full time bashing of other football supporters for not watching MLS. Good for NBC increasing viewing figures from 220k from before they took over to 457k last season. This also doesn’t include streaming figures, the fact people on the west coast are still asleep for most of the games, and all this while traditional pay-TV households decreased 9% since 2013. You would think that maybe that this website was started and run as EPLTalk for years before switching names might kind of give away that there might be a slight bias towards the worlds most popular football league.

  5. Jbaxter736

    August 24, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    hi Christopher how are UK resident going to the US for work for three months and my team is playing Europa league Best Way to watch the games I don’t really mind if they’re in Spanish ?

    • Ilya

      August 24, 2019 at 6:03 pm

      Subscribe to Br/live which shows every champions league and Europa league games 9.99 a month here in the USA.

      • DT

        August 24, 2019 at 11:55 pm

        B/r live is the holder of English speaking rights in the US but do they really show every game? Maybe from group stage? They definitely have not shown every Europa League qualifier. Their website is also a mess. Not sure of the Spanish language options but generally if a game isn’t shown on an OTA Spanish channel (antenna) you need a cable subscription to login t9 their app. It’s annoying even if you follow a team in the Champions League.

  6. Greg C

    August 23, 2019 at 4:12 am

    I say this as a born and raised Englishman. My viewing habits are very Prem Lge and Euro-centric. I enjoy this website for those most part, especially the comments section, but the anti-MLS bias is way too much. Any chance to knock it is taken by the people who run this website and a lot of the commentators and I don’t get it. Football is a fairly small market here but there is no community to it. MLSers knock ‘Eurosnobs’, English club fans hate La Liga, fans of international football don’t care about clubs. I even referee youth and high school games, see the faces of players, coaches and parents regularly and there is little desire to say hi and talk about the beautiful game. We are a small community, be inclusive and love thy neighbor!

    • Eddy

      August 24, 2019 at 12:31 am

      JP and Greg C i’ve often repeated this to Chris about his over the top anti-MLS. He can’t see it and then turn it around and say people who disagree are MLS fanboys and we live in a bubble. It’s petty he got so upset he blocked me on twitter from World Soccer Talk for debating WST constant anti-MLS articles and podcast Kartik isn’t as thin skin and we can often have debates disagree but have other nice exchanges on Twitter. If this all sounds personal this whole thing it’s because it is. It’s gotten personal for guys like Chris and his whole point is to tear down the league and people who follow the league “Fanboys”

      It’s sickening that we can’t just enjoy soccer and when, where, and however it’s played. The hardliner Pro/Rel people are down right despicable in their actions. They claim to love the game and are fighting against people ruining the game and are totally oblivious to how their own actions are destroying the game.

      I appreciate you guys pointed it out so I don’t always have to be “that guy” I will tho if need be.

  7. JP

    August 22, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    I’m saying this as a frequent listener to the pod and not a particularly big fan of MLS, but you guys do often come across as anti MLS.

    Case in point was the discussion today about the ratings for Sheffield. Unnecessarily turned into a direct comparison with an MLS match and used to jump to conclusions about why this is the case…..conclusion people don’t care about MLS because all the games don’t matter like in EPL (easy to qualify for playoffs) and fans love EPL since every match matters towards relegation etc. Also any arguments that the time slot for European soccer (late morning or afternoon) being more conducive in grabbing viewers for what is probably the 6th most popular sport here (at best) vs prime time is just sorry excuse making….EPL ratings would be higher than MLS no matter what, etc.

    I watch a lot of soccer and will admit that if the matches were prime time and competed with other sports or entertainment don’t think I’d watch nearly as much. The time IS a big factor. Sure I’d try and watch Barca, Napoli, Real Madrid but would I watch Sampdoria or Villarreal? Probably not, but I do now.

    It may sound like an excuse, but it’s true. Prime time MLS isn’t on my radar and will usually only watch my local club anyway. Probably the case for most MLS fans, follow their club but not the entire league. With European soccer many fans are causal and will watch the match regardless of club. The only ‘American’ sports that also function like that are college football and NFL, then NBA once the playoffs start.

    MLS isn’t even close to that level yet, in most towns it’s 4th or 5th in the pecking order for attention from other local sports teams.

    End of rant.

    • Eddy

      August 24, 2019 at 1:07 am

      Yes it was WAY over dramatic especially with the concern trolling about how MLS should worry about TV ratings. The assumptions people commented on about OTA being the Number 1 primary rise in EPL TV ratings is true despite Chris trying to end the debate just because he claimed it was on Podcast. The OTA ratings are why EPL ratings went from averaging 220k the last year on ESPN/Fox Sports to 450K ON NBC Sports last year. Again 30 OTA games will do that for you.

      On MLS the bias is over the top. I usually mildy disagree with Kartik but I strongly disagree with both of them this pod especially that whole spill about yes some MLS excuses make sense but when you put them together they contradict?? Like huh that was a rabbit whole argument. You can easily apply that ill logic to the claims Chris pretending if he ws MLS he’d be worried? Last year when Ratings on Fox Sports and Univision where up we were told we should be worried about the decline in ESPN numbers. This year ESPN numbers are up though FOX is down and now we should really be worried it just seems Chris wants to be gloomy on MLS permanently.

      Also I find it funny using Chris logic how other leagues do much worse than MLS on TV while they have all his “opinionated facts” and factors of a league that matters [eye rolls] How can MLS do better than those leagues that matter more here to this vast amount of people who live in Chris soccer bubble. I mean with all the facts on those other leagues and how they do poorly for a vast amount of reasons not always thru fault. Chris still talks about how x,y,z Euro leagues with respect none of the anti bias and disdain he does for MLS and its fans despite MLS having a larger following here. If Chris isn’t worried about those league and was so positive last season on the prospects on their then impending TV deals despite those league having worst numbers why should MLS be worried.

      I’m not worried. I’m oddly looking at the next NHL TV deal in a cpl yrs 2021-22, however much NHL gets MLS will come in just behind. NHL is currently on 200mil yr hearing next deal they’re looking for $500m yr. MLS is on 90m yr. MLS TV ratings average on cable was around 200k in 2014 when the TV deal was signed. NHL NBCSN ratings average was 348k when their 200m yr TV deal was signed in 2011. Looking at that that same comparative data MLS has really cut into that gap. In 2018 MLS averaged 276k on cable last year NHL averaged 313k on NBCSN.

      My rant is over too, but they clearly can’t see the forest for the trees. Too much time spent over-analyzing trying to find negative things to say about MLS.

      • JP

        August 24, 2019 at 7:53 am

        Hi Eddy, yes I could’ve went on longer with my rant as well.

        You mentioned how they react when other leagues have poor ratings…..it’s always a litany of excuses for them. With Bundesliga (which I enjoy) they blame poor promotion and inconsistent channel choices (FS1 or FS2). I completely agree the promotion is lacking, but MLS is never given the same treatment.

        Match they compared to the EPL was on FS1, so poor promotion could also be the excuse given for the disparity. Instead we got the “EPL fans will move heaven and earth to watch the matches no matter when and where it’s on because they all matter”, and I only exaggerated on that quote a bit.

        He also criticized MLS for presumably caring more about ticket sales than TV ratings because national TV ratings are the true metric of a leagues health. What!?!? I think that strategy is wise, especially for what is still a niche professional sport in this country. Using the same logic NHL is in deep trouble compared to other sports leagues (also a very big NHL fan).

        I response to a listener question he admits to watching no other sports, so have to question his understanding of where soccer falls in the American psyche. For the non Euro centric soccer fan (I’m admittedly euro centric) it’s almost like an Olympic sport. Care about it every 4 years during the World Cup then go on back to the NFL etc. Yes there are some hardcore supporters, but just like swimming and skiing and curling and track and field etc, there just isn’t a huge market here for these beyond an Olympic year….

        I’ve seen it 1st hand, friends who hate soccer followed some of the WC (mens) and even the women’s final. Then as Greg mentions in his comment many Euro fans hate on MLS and vice versa, so the EPL to MLS direct comparison can’t be made, usually a different subset of soccer fans. And for MLS those fans are likely fans of other American sports leagues (unlike Chris) so it does face competition for viewers, even if you’re already a fan.

        • Eddy

          August 24, 2019 at 1:45 pm

          Exactly my MLS he is in his own bubble of sorts an there is a vast misunderstanding at play. Just like I knew that La Liga wasn’t going to have all these suitors for the next deal. Their just isn’t a large enough audience for most Euro soccer and it’s really sad but there is a segment of fans like Chris who find happiness and trying to tear down and boost up leagues instead of just enjoying soccer. There is no joy for the greater game to succeed he thinks that all that matters is EPL success and constantly points to it as the beacon. Well I hate to break it to him, but soccer won’t ever get bigger in this country because of EPL it will be because MLS will have aged into a anchor league Big 5 league and none of that non sense he mentioned. I hate to be so blunt but his over the topness and anti -MLS laurent him and WST getting called out.

          He talks in circles and doesn’t realize people remember his statements. The only consistency when he talks is bashing MLS. Last year he went to concern trolling MLS and the next tv deal to eventually saying “Well you know what they probably will get a nice big TV deal” because of the fact the World Cup and National Teams.

          That argument has been picked apart online because when you look at it there are not nearly enough USNT games a year to make up the money in the TV deal just from the US Nats. The money comes from the ever increasing inventory of US Soccer games and the fact that MLS ratings if you look at a chart as steadily incremented increased the last decade. Though I’ll repeat a past statement that the WC failure hangover will probably cause a 4-8% dip in the overall cable growth for the first time in a decade this season. I do think we’ll see a jump up next year.

          On the NHL yes you are right I’m a Caps fan and you too probably have heard the multiple bids that NHL will likely have with ESPN and FOX jumping in and NHL looking for $500m yr. This is coming off MLS closing the TV #s on comparison. Chris needs to get out his bubble and follow the whole American Sports scene regardless if he likes other sports but just so he can gain more knowledge of the landscape. If NHL gets $500m then MLS more than likely is sitting pretty the next yr when their deal is up.

          Btw interesting fact for all the EPL craze and jockeying WST does and did with that EPL’s 74% increase article EPL’s tv average the first season on NBC 2013-14 was 2013-14 was 438k last year 2018-19 it was 454k after dipping to 420k in 2016-17. So looking at year 1 on NBC going on year 7 2019-2020 EPL ratings on NBC networks have increased JUST 4% Won’t hear Chris speak that but instead have his writes make articles to tell a story he want’s told 74% To his cronies who down vote have at it won’t stop me for calling out inconsistencies. DO THE MATH!

          • JP

            August 24, 2019 at 4:49 pm

            Caps fan! That’s the one team I don’t want to ever see in the playoffs, Holtby owns us unfortunately. Carolina did us a big favor last Spring.

  8. James Gilbred

    August 22, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    I love their weekly segment on SiriusXM FC’s Counter Attack!

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