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Soccer Business Bits: Soccer in Hartford, NBC Goes Heavy & More

As regular readers of this site know, I live in the Hartford area.  On Tuesday night, the US Women returned to the area to host the German national team at Rentschler Field, the football home of the UCONN Huskies.  Despite some terrible weather for most of the day, the match drew almost 19k to East Hartford.  In addition to the US Women on multiple occasions, the venue also played host to the USMNT before the last world cup, a US/T&T qualifier and also hosted a Liverpool v. Celtic friendly.  Connecticut tends to turn out for soccer, despite almost non-existent pre-game coverage, advertising  or promotion.  Youth soccer is big in this area, and local clubs were responsible for many of the fans in attendance.  However, the lack of outreach to the clubs and the absence of advertising was extremely disappointing.   Random Hartford trivia:  What prime time drama was based in the City of Hartford?

On Wednesday night, the NBC Sports Network televised the Kansas City/Philly match from LiveStrong Sporting Park.  The game is one of four matches that will be broadcast on the NBC networks this week.  On Saturday there will be a tripleheader, including one match on NBC proper and two games on NBCSN.  Viewership on the cable sports network has averaged significantly higher than FSC in past year.  Those keeping tabs on the ratings on bigsoccer have calculated the NBCSN average viewership at over 125k per match. While there have been some disappointing games with less than 75k, the numbers have been fairly steady throughout the year.

Finally, for a worthwhile read, I highly recommend this piece from former Fire GM Peter Wilt.  There are some great business nuggets in here that are definitely worth the read.