It has become fashionable to live blog sporting events, and we thought we would give it a try for the MLS game of the week (as long as we can stay up). However, our focus will be on the business aspects of the broadcast.
As an initial matter, the lead in from the re-broadcast of the Champions League final was smart; the lack of advertising during the game was not. Nevertheless, the broadcast started on time (something of a problem for ESPN MLS broadcasts). After a brief intro, the booth team of Harkes and Delacamera passed the baton to the “Espnsoccernet.com pregame show, presented by VW” where Rob Stone and Alexi Lalas provided some insight and discussion.
VW was the initial advertiser during the first break, followed by the Marines (a longtime sponsor of MLS) and then the ever present Home Depot (advertising Behr Paint). AT&T continued its increased presence with a spot, before the parade of local commercials began.
A couple of other notes, it is unfortunate that the Chivas/Blanco matchup is up against the Mexican final. This is probably the one game that Mexican soccer fans might be interested in watching. That said, the 10:50 start time is rough for us East-coasters (a 7:00 start time in L.A. would be much better and would probably draw stronger ratings).
Second break started with a “Round Up” spot (new), followed by a 30 second ad for Mike’s Hard and a return of the 15 second Round-up ad and then back to the local commercials and PSAs.
Once back to the booth, we get a dose of ESPN Axis (neat technology) before some insight from Allen Hopkins. Crowd looks good behind the goals, but not so much in the middle levels (but filling in)…and it is game time.
The sign boards are active early, with adidas, Bud, Dick’s and Frazee Paint making early appearances. It takes about 12 minutes for the spots to repeat themselves.
At the 7:20 mark, a VW logo appeared in the top left corner for a brief second. The sound quality of the broadcast is pretty good and the stadium sounds alive on TV. A couple of additional microphones in the stands might be nice.
The Philly Union got a mention in the 22nd minute, including the 7k plus in season ticket deposits.
Minute 28 brought Hopkins back in and then minute 31 brought some colorful language that probably should have been edited since the replay was 5 minutes old. Good to see some cross marketing for FSC and Telefutura.
Taco Bell popped up as a sponsor at the death of the half along with VW.
That is one half in the books…we will call it a night.