The ratings are out for the opening match of the 2014 season on the NBC Sports Network, and the news was outstanding for MLS. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal tweeted that the game drew 330,000 viewers, the highest number for a match on NBCSN since the first year on the network. Bolstered by a strong lead-in from the EPL, the numbers are a big win for the league, despite a relatively poor match. Next week, the NBSCN match between Seattle and TFC will not enjoy the same lead-in, but will feature Bradley and Dempsey, who should be big draws in a World Cup year. Regardless, at a time when the league is still negotiating its television deals for the rest of the decade, this is a great way to start 2014.
This was not the only television news of the week. Sporting Kansas City announced that its television network will expand its reach to 9 states and 8 affiliates. From the presser, “The interest and demand for Sporting Kansas City matches continues to grow and we’re pushing the bar to provide a broadcast network that will bring our club and our stadium into living rooms throughout the Midwest,” said Chris Wyche, Sporting Kansas City’s Executive Vice President of Operations and Executive Producer of the Sporting Kansas City Television Network. “This will provide unprecedented brand exposure in the region and will showcase our games to fans far and wide while delivering quality programming for our partners.”
Finally, the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals are starting up and the primary network carrying the games will be Fox Sports 2. The former Fuel is not nearly as available as FS1 and the games promise to be largely played in obscurity.
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