Soccer Business Bits: Soccer on TV & September Preview

tv soccerIt is time to turn the page on the calendar and the “summer of soccer” in the United States.  WPS is done for the year, MLS is entering the playoff stretch drive and the USMNT is facing a double shot of immense matches in World Cup Qualifying.  These are some big games, but actually finding them on television may pose a bit of a problem.

While ESPN (and not Mun2) will televise both upcoming qualifiers, they will do so on ESPN Classic, one of the weak sisters of the ESPN family.  Both ESPN and ESPN2 reach almost 100 million households, while Classic reaches closer to 60 million.  Moreover, Classic is frequently on a pay tier and thus not readily available to many potential viewers. This is a tough blow to soccer fans still irritated by Telemundo’s ownership of the Mexico/USA match.

Keeping to the TV theme, it will be a slow month for ESPN and MLS.  The Worldwide Leader is presently scheduled to televise one match in MLS in the month of September (San Jose/Colorado on the 18th).  FSC will continue its regular schedule of weekly games, while Telefutura will skip the first weekend in September and will televise only three games.

ESPN will continue to offer its slate of EPL and La Liga matches and FSC will continue to offer EPL and Serie A games.  Gol TV will also maintain its array of European and South American matches.  FSC will also show a variety of World Cup Qualifiers from around the globe.  It was also heartening to see ESPN promote its MLS broadcasts during its EPL telecasts.