Soccer Business Bits: Champions League & NBC Content

Fox Soccer is about to continue its ongoing coverage of the CONCACAF Champions League. The coverage takes on new meaning given the recent signing of the Versus/MLS deal and diminishing role Fox soccer has within MLS.   As we said last Summer, Fox 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, Fox Soccer has made a devoted and dedicated effort to broadcast these matches from all reaches of the region.   Fox Soccer’s coverage may not be ideal, but it is important.  If the tournament wasn’t televised, it would fade into obscurity and irrelevance.  Improved camera work and commentary are inexpensive enhancements that will come with time.  Until then, celebrate Fox’s broadcasts of the Champions League.

Finally, NBC and MLS announced that they will putting on MLS 36, a new day in the life series featuring such MLS stars as Chris Wondolowski and Freddy Montero.  We will have more on this exciting original programming going forward, but for now, here is how the network press release  describes the programming.  “Capturing an in-depth and exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the life of this MLS superstar, MLS 36 takes viewers into Wondolowski’s world for 36 straight hours as he and his fellow MLS All-Stars prepare to take on current European champions, Chelsea FC, in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. The 30-minute episode will grant unparalleled access and give unique insight into Wondolowski’s life as a professional soccer player, and his goal that opened the scoring in the All-Stars’ 3-2 victory last week.”