Business Blogging: NBC Broadcasts MLS

At 3:00 Eastern on Sunday, NBC kicked off its three years of MLS coverage on Sunday with a live broadcast from Frisco, Texas.  As we often do for big soccer telecasts, we prepared a business blog of the event.  Generally, the reviews of NBC’s fist broadcat were extremely positive.  Both the booth and studio teams drew high reviews and production values were first rate.

The broadcast started with a voice over promo for soccer on NBC and followed with a high production value introduction.  The live broadcast quickly moved to the field with White and Martino doing a stand-up pitchside.  The studio team was also on-site and Robbie Earle and Russel Thaler provided some good insight into some of the competitive changes facing the league in 2012.  The first set of ads came from the Marines, Dick’s, 5 Hour Energy, Panasonic and Gillette.  Both the Panasonic and Dick’s spots included MLS content.  The broadcast then came back for a quick look at starting line-ups before going to back to a set of ads for Continental Tire, KFC

The broadcast returned with an on-field interview with Henry, an area of focus from NBC this year.  Other ads included E-Trade, Belvita, Wrath of the Titans, Subaru, Kingsford and choicehotels. Continental Tire sponsored Kyle Martino’s keys to the game. Panasonic was the first on-screen advertiser.  There was some choppiness to the broadcast in the 30th minute both we replays and some of the live footage. Arlo White announced Sleep Inn as a partner in the 32nd minute.

Halftime ads included the Marine Corps, 5 Hour Energy,, Buick, Allstate and other repeats.  Earle and Thaler were solid during the halftime show, providing good insight and a solid highlight package.  More game highlights from the night before would have been appreciated, but the analysis of the first half was solid.   The “story” focus was apparentl, as the broadcat kept coming back to the Red Bulls’ rookie goalie.

The second half continued the strong performance with the ususal suspects from the sponsors’ bench coming on screen.  Notably, FC Dallas’ new electronic signs were evident throughout and generally added to the professional atmosphere.  The postgame show was generally well done.

Overall, it was a great first effort by the league’s new media partner.  We will check back in later in the season to see how the network has changed its coverage.