Soccer Goes Radio

The big soccer business announcement of the day came from an unusual medium, the world of radio.  Mainstream sports talk radio has long ignored soccer in many markets, while the internet has giving rise to many quality podcasts focusing on the beautiful game.  Today SirriusXM revealed that starting on Monday, the satellite radio provider will offer a 24 hour, 365 soccer channel, with talk shows, matches and more.

I have long commented on the lack of forum for soccer fans to banter about their favorite sport. Now, for those with access to satellite radio, that forum exists.  In speaking to the New York Times, Scott Greenstein, the SiriusXM president and chief content officer said “People like talking to true experts, and the call-ins are integral to getting into the lifestyle and flavor of sports, especially soccer,” Greenstein said. “Any time you want to talk soccer, this is it. Imagine calling the FAN”  — all sports radio WFAN in New York — “and wanting to talk Red Bulls. That’s just not happening. Now those people have a channel.”

In addition to talk, the station will carry radio broadcasts of the EPL, MLS Matches and broadcasts of MLS Extra Time.  I have always been skeptical of the appeal of actual soccer matches on the radio.  Soccer is a great sport in stadium and it translates reasonably well to television.  However, soccer is extremely difficult to broadcast without the visual backdrop of the match.

Nevertheless, the advent of this new network is a great thing for fans of the game.  Having an outlet to debate, discuss and relive matches is exciting for fans of the game.