MLS Cup will be moving to the west coast this year following the Dynamo’s improbable run to the final. I know there has been some muttering among the fan base that MLS Cup Playoffs invalidate the regular season Houston’s run will be exhibit “A” for those fans. I will address this later in the week, but my answer has always been “so what?” The playoffs are fun, the playoffs are exciting and the playoffs are a valued part of American soccer.
On to some business news. Kudos to DC United for its Blackout effort and 20k crowd at RFK. That is a solid number with the Redskins also playing an afternoon game in the area. The crowd sounded loud on the NBC Sports Network and the Blackout looked good on television. Speaking of NBC, the Dynamo win marked the final game of the 2012 season on NBC. Overall, it is hard to argue that the first season of the league’s partnership with the Peacock was anything other than success.
I was certainly skeptical of the “between the benches” gimmick, but Kyle Martino did an outstanding job as the color voice on the NBC broadcasts. Arlo White was a steady and professional primary announcer and team never shine as bright as they did during the delays prior to the Red Bulls/DC match in New Jersey. NBC’s production and promotion were great (although the promotion seemed to drop off as the year went on) and the overall ratings jumped over the comparable Fox Soccer telecasts over previous years.
One final business note. It is no secret that the league’s next big business goal is the placement of its 20th franchise within the 20 boroughs of New York. It was therefore a little surprising to see newly named Red Bulls Sporting Director Jérôme de Bontin, suggest that the market may not be ready for such a move. More on his controversial statements can be found here.
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