The Monday After: Coverage of the Nats and MLS Attendance

soccertvBig weekend of soccer in the U.S. with World Cup Qualifying and the MLS playoff chase. While the big media story of the USA/Honduras match was the limited opportunity to view the game on televsion, other media stories emerged from the Saturday night match.  First, kudos to ESPN for its almost real-time coverage of the USA match during its Sports Center broadcast.  Seemingly within seconds of a big play in the game, ESPN would provide highlights and commentary of the play.  Similar coverage was provided by ESPN2 and other ESPN outlets.  This provided national coverage of the US qualifiying and probably put more eyeballs on the actual qualification than would have been had the game been televised by ESPN2.

Not to be outdone, FSC provided regular updates during their broadcast of the T&T/Costa Rica match.  The FSC team was aware of the extreme interest in the game among their viewing audience.  Plenty of people were home watching the FSC game while scanning the internet for chat’s about the game.  The FSC coverage provided regular updates for that group that did not have access to tv coverage of the game.

Another emerging theme was the prevalance of internet streams for games that are difficult to find on American television.  Fans across the country were hopping the internet to find streams of either the Honduran broadcast, the closed circuit broadcast or other video of the game.  Multiple websites were regurlarly providing links to new streams as existing streams were shutting down. Similar streams are typically available for EPL and other foreign broadcasts.  Without comment on the legality of this pracitce, suffice to say such streams are prevalent and have significantly altered the landscape for the availability of soccer in American homes.

In MLS play, there were a number of games with playoff implications.  In New England, just over 13k were in attendance for the Revs’ 1-0 loss to Columbus.  This is a low number, especially when considering the large number of high school players in the stands as part of high school socer night.  Toronto had a typically good crowd for its heartbreaking draw with San Jose.  Just about 13k were at the Home Depot Center for Chivas’ playoff clinching win.