Time for our last Monday After of the preseason. We’ll start with the Friday afternoon media conference call conducted by Don Garber. The conference touched on a wide range of business topics, including expansion, tv ratings and stadium construction. The Commissioner acknowledge that the league’s television ratings need to increase (he put this on the league, not ESPN), left the door open for a 20th expansion team outside NY (but did include the Wilpon Family as a possible investor) and reasserted his belief that the Revolution stadium situation is a “when” not an “if”. On the business side, the conference call didn’t really cover any new ground. Garber touched on the negotiations with FSC, lauded the new KC stadium rights deal and was effusive in his praise of the KC ownership group, but not of these items represent a significant “new” business item.
The 2011 MLS media packet came by mail over the weekend and for those who are intersted, the kit includes the following: There is a flash drive with the media guides for all of the teams, a media handbook (with contact information) and a booklet containing background information about the league. Over the next few days we will share some of the nuggets contained in that book.
Finally, the most recent edition of Sports Illustrated came out this week with the magazine’s MLS preview. We have previously remarked about the quality soccer coverage in SI (that recently included a feature on the “Special One”). Unfortunately, the MLS preview was exceptionally brief, including only a Grant Wahl article on Charlie Davies and a brief sentence on the rest of the teams.
CORRECTION/ADDITION: One final note about SI’s coverage. As indicated above, SI (both through the magazine and CNNSI.com) provide excellent coverage of soccer. It is through the lens of the magazine’s increased coverage of the sport that we expressed our disappointment with the 4 pages devoted to MLS preview (i.e. 3.5 pages on Charlie Davies and some quick notes about the teams). SI writer Grant Wahl was kind enough to reach out and note that the 4 page preview represents a increase over past years and might represent the largest MLS preview ever put out by the magazine. So while we can only hope for more coverage going forward, it seems that the sense that the coverage was limited was based on increasing expectations and the extent of preview coverage alloted to some of the other sports.