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Soccer Streaming Wars of 2021

In the NEW episode, number 210, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Why 2021 will be the year of streaming soccer
• Details on Serie B and Serie C available again in the U.S.
• What ESPN+ has in store for 2021
• Why Taylor Twellman gets under my skin
• 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. Chris Guardiano

    February 14, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    @Michael in regard to MLS on ESPN+, the only games that are on there are out of market games in which you get the broadcast of an RSN and replays of games that were on ESPN, ABC or ESPN 2. If you live a market like I do in the Seattle area, I can’t watch the Sounders on ESPN+ because their games are blacked out. This may be the case for you, but I would double check when the season starts since FS South covers three different states including North Carolina. Also games broadcast nationally by Fox, FS1 or Univision aren’t available to watch on ESPN+ and are exclusive to those networks.

  2. Michael

    February 12, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    I live in North Carolina so we don’t have a local team. The closest team we have is Atlanta on FS South. If I had FS Reginal I guess that would be the Local team. Well every MLS game I have ever seen has been on ESPN+. My son came home and wanted to watch soccer, and the MLS games
    are what he picked. Not being the biggest MLS fan, please forgive my ignorance….but aren’t are all the MLS games on ESPN+ already, like all the EPL games are on Peacock? If they are all on ESPN+ there would be no need for RSN correct?

  3. Don Dickerson

    February 12, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    With all the new soccer rights that seem to be coming almost daily right now is there any information on any deals in the works for the Middle East Leagues like Iran, Iraq and Kuwait Premier Leagues. I’d love to watch teams that are going to be qualifying for the AFC Champions League.

  4. Chris Guardiano

    February 12, 2021 at 1:37 am

    @Jasinho The only reason why I think a CONCACAF-CONMEBOL merger wouldn’t happen is because of the long distances CONCACAF teams would have to travel to play in South America and vice versa especially for the Copa Libertadores. For example let’s say Seattle of MLS is playing River Plate in a two legged Copa Libertadores knockout round tie; it is a 15 -16 hour flight between the two cities and both teams would be at a disadvantage for the away leg as a result especially for Seattle if that tie is in the middle of the MLS season. MLS and Liga MX would have to massively adjust their regular season schedules in order to make sure that their teams would be competitive in the Copa Libertadores that is is if the competition retains its current format. If CONCACAF and CONMEBOL were to merge, I see the Copa Libertadores being reformatted so that the group stages are regionalized, meaning teams from MLS and Liga MX would play against each other and other CONCACAF teams and the South American teams would play against each other in order to reduce travel costs. Then for the KO stage, each tie would be one leg again to reduce travel costs and make ties more competitive.

  5. Jasinho

    February 11, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    To answer your question about the USMNT interest, that faded with the failure to qualify for the ’18 World Cup and we all know what happened and why. There may be a resurgence with with the European based US players getting more playing time with the larger clubs in Europe, however we are still taking a wait and see approach.
    There is another detail regarding this that not everyone is getting and that would be the relative lack of competition within the whole of CONCACAF. If your Spanish is decent, go ahead and research Mexico y CONMEBOL. There has been some noise within the various blogs and videos advocating Mexico joining CONMEBOL because they would get regular friendlies and WCQ matches against the South American teams, even going as far as rejoining the Libertadores all in the anticipation of increased competition for the Mexican NT to be in the last four or two of the World Cup
    I’ve been advocating a CONCACAF-CONMEBOL merger for quite sometime as a way of facilitating more lucrative competition for both the US and Mexico being involved in the Copa Libertadores and Copa America on a more consistent basis.

  6. JP

    February 11, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Speaking of streaming, the reports are DAZN outbid Sky for domestic Serie A rights at 850 million euros a season until 2024. 7 matches a week, so presume RAI keeps their 3 as in the current deal.

    After a flurry of marketing for DAZN around boxing years ago I haven’t seen or heard anything about them here in the US. Seem to be a big player in other markets, wonder if they’re planning a big splash here soon or just admitting defeat.

  7. JP

    February 11, 2021 at 9:22 am

    The RSN for MLS in my market doesn’t have baseball so they don’t have the problem of being bumped. But still would like to see RSN’s go away, only thing keeping me wedded to cable as I need my local hockey.
    The end point of all this jumping around platforms, blackout rules, etc, is for all sports leagues to sell the package directly to fans. NHL.TV would be more than 10 times as cost effective over cable if it weren’t for blackout rules. I know the price would increase if that didn’t apply, but would surely still be much cheaper.
    The European soccer leagues don’t have this issue, they could easily sell a LaLigaTV, EPLTV, SerieATV, UEFATV, etc app for us to stream all the games and cut out the middle man.
    Maybe they don’t want to assume the risk of subscriptions and advertising coming in lower than expected and would rather have the money upfront from all these networks and streaming options. But think this is the way it eventually has to go.

  8. Chris Guardiano

    February 11, 2021 at 3:00 am

    Hi Guys,
    Great podcast. When it comes to RSN’s, I agree with Kartik that they often push MLS and the NHL off in favor of the NBA and MLB especially during scheduling conflicts. I have seen this firsthand as a Sounders fan because back in 2017/2018, our RSN in Seattle Root Sports, booted the Sounders off of their network to show more Mariners MLB games. This caused people that lived outside of the Seattle area including one of my aunts within the state of Washington to lose access to locally televised matches for 2 years until this past season when Amazon signed a deal with the club to stream all non nationally televised games via Prime video free of charge. I should point out that I live in the Seattle area and watch Sounders matches on JoeTV a over the air network owned by the local Fox affiliate here in Seattle. My question to Chris is: Do you see MLS in the next TV deal telling the Sounders and other clubs that have deals with local over the air networks (Portland, Miami and Austin all have deals with local over the air networks instead of RSN’s) to stop showing matches on these networks and move those matches to an ESPN+ or a Paramount+ instead?

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