The long awaited debut of Major League Soccer on the broadcast network of NBC is set for this coming Saturday. On paper the game presents a match-up at teams at opposite ends of the table. However, as a showpiece match for the network, the Cascadia Cup game presents an outstanding spectacle for broadcast television. NBC can be certain of big crowds, great atmosphere and great theater. With the game scheduled for Portland, NBC will also hope for big numbers watching the game from televisions throughout the Seattle area. The Peacock has been a great addition to the MLS roster of partners and the upcoming broadcast showcases should provide a great way to end the season. The mid-afternoon start time will likely have a negative impact on ratings, as will competition from NCAA football, but viewership will certainly bear watching.
Brazil is getting ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Christopher Hunt of CNNSI has a great look at preparations in that country and the soccer culture that is seemingly everywhere. Hunt took in some matches, looked at the stadiums and commented on the status of stadium construction as June 2014 creeps closer. With the World Cup and Olympics headed to Brazil over the next four years, the South American country will become familiar to American sports fans. Hunt’s piece provides some nice insight into the nation as it prepares for its moments in the sun.
Finally, there is the strange story of David Beckham and Alexi Lalas purportedly joining forces to purchase a Spanish soccer team. The former Galaxy GM and current star midfielder are apparently considering buying a controlling stake in FC Malaga. From an MLS perspective, the story is interesting because of the long held suspicion that Beckham would be involved in purchasing an MLS franchise when his career ends. What impact this possible buy would have upon that effort is unknown.
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