As promised, we are providing some analysis of MLS SuperDraft coverage from around the country. Before we get into the ESPN broadcast, a couple of quick notes. First, Philly.com, provided a fairly comprehensive running blog of the draft from the convention center in Philadelphia. Each pick was announced and fans permitted the opportunity to comment. ESPN provided similar coverage hosted by Ives. As is typical for the draft, there were stories in a number of local papers where potential draftees were either raised or went to college. The usual cast of soccer journalists, including Steve Goff and Kyle McCarthy also provided regular updates.
Prior to the draft, ESPN’s coverage was fairly disappointing, as there was no reference to the event anywhere on either the home page or Soccernet’s front page. However, they should be commended for their television coverage. The entire first round was presented on ESPN2 and the broadcast was sharp, well produced and modeled after their NFL draft coverage. The show was hosted by Rob Stone, with Harkes and Lalas joining him in studio. Alan Hopkins manned the convention center and provided interviews and insights from the floor.
The broadcast was presented by adidas, and commercial advertisers included McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Scottrade, the Post Office and AT&T. Commericals were actually few and far between. Screen graphics were easy to follow and highlights were well timed and presented professionally. Kudos to the ESPN for devoting some of the down time during the draft to discuss the labor issues facing MLS with the ongoing negotiations of the CBA. Harkes and Lalas did a good job hitting the issues of both sides. Hopkins also had an interview with the Commish to discuss the negotiations.
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