Lots of business stories from the weekend. We’ll start with the broadcast of the Arsenal/Manchester United match televised, live on Fox. The Sunday telecast was part of a large block of sports programming on the new FIFA partner that included the NFC Championship game from San Francisco. Rob Stone anchored the pregame and halftime festivities, but the network relied upon its English crew for the play by play. According to reports, the game was carried by more than 90% of Fox affiliates around the country. In two weeks, Fox will again go live with the English Premier League as part of its Super Bowl Coverage. Importantly, the network used the Championship game to promote its Super Bowl soccer telecast.
We’ll next move to Phoenix, were the US National Team hosted Venezuela in the first US Men’s match of 2012. The game was played at University of Phoenix Stadium before more than 22k. The match was not broadcast on English language television, but on ESPN3.com. The broadcast was fairly disappointing but the duo will be back on ESPN3 for the upcoming match against Panama. The was broadcast in Spanish on Galavision.
Even though MLS is still six weeks away from opening its season, the league was in the news all weekend thanks to top performances from some of its stars playing elsewhere this winter. Robbie Keane scored twice in his first EPL game during the two month loan to Aston Villa, while former league stalwart Clint Dempsey managed three goals for Fulham. Landon Donovan continued his strong run of form at Everton and David Beckham confirmed his return to MLS,.