Soccer Business Bits: Stone Moves, Comcast Deals, Apple In & More

The holiday season is over and now its time to turn our attention to our regular business coverage.  We’ll start 2012 with a potpourri of media related items.  First, longtime ESPN soccer personality Rob Stone has officially moved to Fox Soccer to serve as their primary soccer studio host.  He will be joined by former United States International Eric Wynalda who serve as the primary studio analyst.  Stone is a 15 year veteran of ESPN and has served in a variety of capacities at the network including roles as a soccer studio host and sideline reporter.  The hiring of Stone continues FOX’s strong move into the world of soccer.  Stone’s first duty will be on January 22, when FOX hosts live EPL coverage in advance of NFL football.  For more on the move, click here.

In other media news, Comcast and Disney announced a 10 year deal covering a wide range of content, including various ESPN platforms.  Comcast is the nation’s largest television provider and this deal ensures that its subscribers will continue to have access to ESPN’s wide ranging of soccer content over the internet.  Staying with the television theme, a number of sources are reporting that Apple has expressed interest in grabbing the rights to English Premier League.  Whether the rumor has any legs remains to be seen, but it is hard to argue that a play for the rights by the i-pod maker would send shockwaves through the media and electronics industries.

One final note.  We’ve written at length about the San Jose stadium, including the possibility that the recent momentum could be checked by an effort to appeal the decision.  That appeal has happened, you can read more here.