The Business of the MLS SuperDraft

Thursday was the MLS SuperDraft, and as we did last year, we thought we would take a look at some of the business aspects of the proceedings.  Before we explore the broadcast, a couple of notes on some of the coverage of the event.  The Twitterverse was exploding with coverage of the draft.  Journalists, fans, teams, players, bloggers and others drove the draft coverage to the top of the Twitter lists of trends.  Multiple outlets carried live coverage of the event online, with chats, commentary and more.

The ESPN broadcast was anchored by Stone and Harkes, with Lalas and Twellman based in Bristol to provide commentary.  ESPN drew on its long experience in televising the NFL draft to provide helpful graphics to keep track of potential drafteess, key additions and more.  ESPN did a good job showing some of the Portland Timbers ads that we highlighted a few weeks back.  The first round of ads featured MLS sponsors VW, and also included One A Day and Phillips. Overall, there were only limited ads.   ESPN made an interested choice to have Twellman carry some of the coverage and conduct an interview with the second overall pick, Darlington Nagbe.  The network certainly seems to be grooming him for an expanded role.  ESPN did a good job staying with the entire first round, and despite some awkward moments in passing the broadcast from Bristol to Baltimore, the team did a fairly good job.

Unfortunately for MLS, the drafting of Wayne Rooney’s brother was one of the biggest story of the draft. CNNSI covered the first pick and the second round selection of John Rooney.  ESPN.com wiped coverage of the draft off of its front page within a few hours.  However, its coverage of the draft on the soccernet page was thorough.  CNNSI.com hasd similarly elimanated the coverage from its front page by evening.  Local outlets in Vancouver and Portland provided solid coverage of their local picks.

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