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Live From Camp Nou and LA Coliseum Parking Lots

In the NEW episode, number 241, Christopher Harris is joined by co-hosts Kartik Krishnaiyer and Kyle Fansler to cover a range of topics including:

• We dive into what we thought of ESPN’s coverage of El Clásico
• How the new rule of five substitutes is or isn’t a good idea
• FuboTV agrees a deal to bring more European soccer to streamers
• Why we now have more soccer leagues available to you free of charge than ever before
• What MLS broadcasts are missing to make them better.
• You give us your feedback on whether the Premier League should do a split deal among two major broadcasters.

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

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  1. Eddy

    November 1, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    @Mercator I agree its always been suspect but the calls the past month or so leading up to the playoffs in many crucial games have been down right suspicious to outrageous. Add that to the player Sporting KC player who came clean to MLS and admitted betting on MLS matches mainly out of fear of his personal safety as the loan sharks wanted payment immediately its not past the refs to also be making bets on games see Tim Donaghy ex NBA ref. When you have guys making 80-100k on the low end it leaves them very susceptible to this the refs are making even less. SMH

  2. Mercator

    November 1, 2021 at 8:59 am

    After last night, MLS needs to be investigated throughly because I just cannot believe professional referees are making decisions like this. Sounds ridiculous but after that call in the Orlando game, my immediate thought was match fixing. No way a professional referee gets a call like that wrong with the aid of video review. Horrible tackle in the SKC game also, obvious red and multiple game ban and the guy got a yellow. I just can’t believe this is a professional standard – MLS isn’t a rich league so I don’t think it outside the realm of possibility something more sinister is at play here. Refs are terrible everywhere, but this was just beyond anything I have seen and I think it could cost Orlando a playoff place.

  3. Michelangelo

    October 31, 2021 at 7:57 am

    is anybody watching the Maradona series on Amazon Prime excellent.

  4. Michael F

    October 30, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    @jason. The 5 sub rule is ok for the champions league, but I would NOT like to see it applied in domestic league play. That would be a mistake. The elite teams have too much of an advantage with all their depth to fully exploit the lower half table clubs.

  5. Turfit

    October 30, 2021 at 9:27 am

    In American Football, I watch most Dallas Cowboys games and usually watch NFL Redzone. I agree that I whip-around show for MLS would make it more interesting. Most NFL games are Sundays at 1200 CST and 300 CST and Redzone is for these games. Most MLS matches is……….. IDK when……..
    Other leagues that I would like to see whip-around shows include the following:
    EPL with 5 matches scheduled today at 9 am CST today Saturday Oct 30
    Bundesliga with 5 matches today at 830 am CST today
    England Championship with 9 matches at 9 am CST today
    France Ligue 2 with 8 matches at 12 CST today
    Serie A with 3 matches at 900 am CST tomorrow
    Ligue 1 with 4 matches at 900 am CST tomorrow

  6. Roberto

    October 30, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Speaking about 2 Bundesliga, it is great St. Pauli is a great year!

  7. Ra

    October 29, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    @jason Same here. I have been following Bundesliga exclusively lately. I am late to the game, but having a wonderful time. Once you are in the know of the stories and dramas, it is the best league in the world. I am really enjoying Bundesluga 2 too also (esp. St. Pauli), now that I know how to VPN every game. I am also looking forward FC Union Berlin based on their amazing history. And despising the energy drink team, that is contrary to everything the league stands for.

  8. jason

    October 29, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    @greg; Another reason I like the Bundesliga best is that it is the one and only “big five” league that is 18 teams instead of 20. I hope they never ever grow bigger than that. Fixture congestion among German teams never seems to be as much of an issue with them as they also have just one domestic cup competition. Best idea is to work on increasing the profile of the German 2nd division instead of trying to increase the size of the 1st division. It is the right size and the other leagues should decrease to 18 (won’t happen though).

    P.S… also great that 2nd Bundesliga is 18 teams. EFL Championship take notice.

  9. greg

    October 29, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Agree on MLS – Most games not involving the Quakes are irrelevant to me. Maybe El Traffico. Maybe Inter Miami early on to see what to make of the line-up. But as many of us have mentioned, during MLS/Euro league overlap, by the time MLS comes on I’m soccer/footballed out.

    Kartik has a good point that there are too many damn teams in the league. Yes the Euro leagues have been around 3x or 4x as long as MLS but they also have 18-20 teams. So it’s easier to keep track of them, especially considering 15 are perennials. And the others are usually rebounders. Only every once in a while do you have to get to know a brand new team & players.

    So yes, focusing on national ratings for MLS is a fool’s game. They should focus on local ratings & attendance. Away matches on air on free or low-cost tv/streaming options. Build loyalty to the club in that city, develop strong rivalries. And market big stars & teams league-wide the way MLB/NBA/NFL do. Having a marquee league players or teams is good…gives casual fans something to pull them in, gives local fans something to root against. Of course they’ll never do promotion/relegation but that would be great in terms of adding jeopardy to the results.

    But as long as they keep the new franchise pyramid scheme going and have no real jeopardy on season results there’s no strong incentive to build strong local interest in areas where it hasn’t happened organically (Portland, Seattle, Atlanta)

  10. dave

    October 29, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Very enjoyable listen
    Great points by @JP about MLB and NHL as analogs for MLS. Layer on that MLB and NHL are arguably worldwide pinnacles of their sport. MLS is good and improving, but few would argue it is the worldwide pinnacle of soccer. Where a devoted baseball fan probably watches national MLB games, a devoted soccer fan may or may not watch national MLS games.
    Perhaps I am more attuned to it recently, but I also perceive increased marketing of ESPN+. They are a frequent advertiser on Liga MX and UCL on TUDN (almost always for La Liga). It is hard to catch a mid-week college football game on ESPN/2/U without a few reminders that some upcoming games from the same conference are exclusive to ESPN+

  11. jason

    October 29, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    I like the 5 sub rule. Good to see more guys get playing time. To limit to 3 opporutnies is the best part of the idea. Does not slow game down at all.

  12. jason

    October 29, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I look forward to finding out how these OneFootall league game broadcasts will come across.

  13. JP

    October 29, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Great discussion as usual, just a few points

    Sure I’ve said this before, but the fixation on MLS’ national popularity shouldn’t be the focus. It’s a regional sport, just like all the other sports on the American landscape, except for football and maybe NBA (for a few select teams only though).

    Like all other sports here, fans follow their local team and might follow nationally for the playoffs. MLS is no different, except the fan involvement for the playoffs if their team isn’t involved is far less than other sports due to the popularity of soccer.

    This model works perfectly fine for MLB and NHL where teams usually have very good attendance but national tv ratings for regular season are lacking (though local ratings on RSN’s very good in most markets)

    To Kartik’s point about a mid table match like Wolves/Everton having appeal but not the case with mid table clubs in other leagues. He must not have caught any Hellas Verona matches this year because they never fail to entertain and currently sit 10th in the table. Genoa, despite being in the relegation zone right now, have also been fun. Those are just a couple examples. Sassuolo has found their form of late and been a better watch (9th). Any fan of any other league could probably provide similar examples. The takeaway for this to all the neutrals, WATCH HELLAS VERONA!

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