Soccer Business Bits: TV Madness

soccertvThe big TV item of the week was broken by Steve Goff over the weekend, when he reported the news that the USA/Honduras World Cup Qualifier would not be available on American household televisions.  According to Goff and other subsequent reports, the rights to the American broadcast of the match are held by a Spanish based firm that specializes in the Pay-per-view and closed circuit broadcasts.  Because FIFA grants televsion rights to the host nation in qualifiers, the USSF had no input into the sale of the English language broadcasts.  Efforts were made by ESPN to purchase the rights to the game, however the asking price was reportedly too high.

Following close on the heels of the Mun2 Mexico/USA broadcast, this news is sure to raise the ire of American soccer fans.  Obviously the purchaser of the rights feels that its purchase is financially sound and that it will make its money back on the game.  There are reports that the broadcast will only be offered in commercial settings.  Thus, there needs to be enough bars and other locations will to pony up for the rights and willing to close off their bars to paying crowds on a Saturday night in October. It is also possible that in the next month, an English language outlet will purchase the rights and bring the game to American televisions.

In other TV news, this Friday represents the lone ESPN2 broadcast of MLS in September. The late night match-up features a well rested San Jose team against Colorado in San Jose.  Fortunately for MLS fans, the broadcast is preceded by boxing (and not College Football).   As a result, there is a strong likelihood that the MLS game will start on time.  Over the weekend, FSC will broadcast the Chivas/Seattle game from Qwest in a mid-day 3:00 p.m. start.  The game should show well on television and will be an important playoff battle.