One of the biggest soccer business stories of 2011 was Major League Soccer’s move from Fox Soccer to the newly named NBC Sports Network for broadcast of its second tier television package. Fox was a long standing partner of the league and now, buried in this biography of NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus from the New York Times, comes the news that the league took less money from NBC than was being offered by Fox. If true, this is a pretty significant statement about the vision NBC sold to MLS. NBC Sports is seeking to make a splash in the television world that will allow it compete with ESPN. MLS apparently believes it is part of that vision. For MLS fans, the article provides some interesting insight into the man with whom MLS is casting its lot and sheds some light on the league’s new partner.
The Sports Business Daily is reporting that Sporting Kansas City, for the first time in franchise history, has sold out its premium inventory for an entire season. The sale of these 35 luxury seats includes terms of up to ten years and run up to $85,000 for a single season. LiveStrong Sporting Park was a remarkable success in 2011 and the sale of this high end collection of seating option for the second year (and beyond) suggests significant staying power for high levels of interest in Sporting and their newly minted ballpark.
Finally, the New York Daily News offers some reporting on a study that looks at brain injuries and heading the ball. In short, the research suggests that repetitive heading (i.e. more than 1,000 headers per year), can have an impact on brain activity. Whether these types of findings will impact youth soccer in the United States remains to be seen.
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