Champions League Thoughts: FSC’s Coverage

After watching FSC’s coverage of the CONCACAF Champions League, we thought we offer few thoughts on thankless job of broadcasting the tournament.  Most recently, FSC televised Toronto’s 2-1 win over Cruz Azul and the coverage was typically low grade.  Camera work was poor and the commentary wanting, but it is difficult to blame FSC.

The network pours significant resources into televising an event that has yet to interest a significant portion of American Soccer Fans.  Games from Honduras, El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago do not grab the imaginations of fans focused on European soccer and the MLS regular season.  The stands are typically empty for these games (whether in the US or abroad) and field conditions are typically terrible   While ratings are tough to come by, it is almost certain that far less than 100k people (and likely less than 50k) tune in to watch the CONCACAF Champions League matches.

Despite these challenges, FSC has made a devoted and dedicated effort to broadcast these matches from all reaches of the region.  For fans of MLS and soccer in the Americas, FSC’s coverage is more than sufficient and is welcome beacon in the late Winter when the knockout stages of the tournament kick off.  During the Summer, FSC is the lone window into Major League Soccer’s efforts to compete in an event that should gain significance in the coming years.  With bigger than usual crowds expected in Seattle, Toronto and Salt Lake City for the group stage, there is a sense that the tournament has gained appreciation among an increasingly sophisticated fan base.

FSC’s coverage may not be ideal, but it is important.  If the tournament wasn’t televised, it would fade into obscurity and importance.  Improved camera work and commentary are inexpensive enhancements that will come with time.  Until then, celebrate FSC’s broadcasts of the Champions League.