The most recent Sports Illustrated presented the magazine’s review of sports media, but the issue exemplified the repeated and varied soccer coverage in SI. Soccer featured prominently throughout, including an interview with new ESPN hire Ian Darke, and a discussion of ESPN’s “The Two Escobars”. The magazine also offered a summary of the Akron victory in the College Cup and a note that FIFA ’11 had set the record for the biggest sports video game opening. Sports Illustrated regularly offers coverage of soccer led by top soccer writer Grant Wahl. When combined with CNNSI.com’s excellent coverage, SI’s multiple platforms have become a go-to destination for mainstream coverage of soccer. CNNSI.com offers great MLS coverage from Steve Davis and Avi Creditor along with substantial European and international writers. SI has never shied away from putting soccer on the cover and providing comprehensive coverage of big soccer events.
In a story we neglected to cover, the Sports Business Journal, reported that the City of Houston is nearing completion of a $15 million soccer training complex in Southwest Houston. The City contributed the entire purchase price for the land and the entire construction price. The facility is scheduled to be completed in February and the Dynamo will take control at that time. The team will contribute approximately $1million per year in operating costs and will have the right to manage and charge usage fees at the complex. The Dynamo will also have the right to sell founding partnerships for the new training facility and will contribute a significant amount to the build out of the locker room.
Finally, we tweeted about the SBJ report on the FSC/MLS negotiations and the apparent MLS demand for $20 million in rights fees. Lost in the SBJ report was the statement that MLS and Versus (long believed to be a potential MLS suitor) hadn’t spoken in a couple of months. The article also noted that the parties had never discussed rights fees. The $20 million figure is a huge number for both MLS and FSC. The two probably need each other, FSC has a huge hole to fill in the Summer and it is difficult to tout FSC as America’s soccer network without rights to the primary US soccer league. At the same time, FSC provides the league a vehicle to connect with the most hard core fans. We believe a deal will get done, but it will be interesting to follow over the next few months.