Soccer Business Bits: Return of NBC, Ratings & More

nbcThis Sunday offers a premiere MLS match-up with the Los Angeles Galaxy visiting Jeld-Wen Field to take on the Timbers.  Portland offers one of the best atmospheres in the league and the match will be televised on NBC.  This is the first game on the NBC mothership since March, and that game drew a disappointing .7.  The Timbers/Galaxy offers a prime market and a popular team.  However, the game will be up against football on the other major networks.

Last weekend, there were two matches on the NBC Sports Network, and both provided solid draws when compared to the league season average.  The first, on Friday night from Portland, drew more than 130k viewers with a 10:00 start on the East Coast.  The following night featured a much hyped match between Seattle and Los Angeles.  The game was expected two of the leagues biggest stars in Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, but neither played.  Nevertheless, the game drew more than 245k viewers, near the top for games on the NBCSN through year two of the contract.  By way of comparison, the Manchester United/Manchester City match on the same channel drew more than 800k viewers.

Finally, every year MLS promotes the diversity of nationalities among its players.  Here is this year’s graphic depiction of the player pool.   Colombia and Canada are second to the USA with 19 players.  Overall, 60 countries are represented around the league, making the league’s diversity unique among American sports.