Soccer Business Bits: Checking in with Al Jazeera, Soccer Ratings & More

soccer statsThe launch of Al Jazeera America drew a wide range of coverage from the US Media.  However, the always excellent John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal recently checked in on the status of Al Jazeera’s sports cousin beIN Sport.  beIN Sport came onto the scene just over a year ago with the intention of becoming one of the leading American sports networks.  I have derided their production values, but the network has certainly invested resources into content, including USMNT matches, European club matches and more.  Yet, as Ourand notes, the first year has been less than stellar.  Ourand notes that  “to jump-start that growth, beIN is starting a digital and print marketing campaign this week to improve brand recognition with consumers. One print ad has a picture of the Statue of Liberty holding up a yellow card alongside ad copy that says: “beIN Sport: America’s International Sports Network.” Ads will run in major national dailies and select soccer trades.”

NBC PR has been touting its Premier League numbers.  According to the official press release, the Manchester United/Chelsea match “averaged 536,000 viewers – tops for an NBCSN Premier League match this season and ranking #2 all-time among weekday, early season (prior to December) Premier League matches on U.S. television (540,000 for Manchester United-Tottenham, 8/22/11 on ESPN2).”  Further, “among Men 18-34, NBCSN’s Premier League average audience (147,000) topped all Monday sporting events – finishing +18% above the second-most watched telecast in the demo (Cincinnati-St. Louis MLB game in primetime on ESPN; 125,000 average viewers).”

Finally, efforts in Orlando are continuing to seek full municipal support, including $20 million from the City Council for a new stadium.