T.V. Tibits: MLS announces Direct Kick 2009

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According to a League press release, MLS has announced the 2009 Direct Package.  The 2009 version will provide up to 130 matches during the MLS season for a flat rate of $79.  Available through both cable and dish, the package will include playoff games and regional pre and post game shows.  The package does not include games televised on ESPN, FSC, ABC and Telefutura.  The package will be offered to commercial establishments for a flate rate of $100.

The package continues to offer great value to MLS fans.  Between the national television packages and Direct Kick, fans are provided a full slate of games from across the country and a peek into the voices and advertising of local markets. While production value is often lacking, it is fun to watch broadcasts from around the country. 

In other TV news, it was recently announced that Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has purchased an 80% stake in GolTV Canada. The purchase was designed to expand MLSE’s penetration into soccer television while providing TFC with its own broadcast outlet.  Like its American counterpart,  GolTV Canada broadcasts matches from European and South American Leagues.

Interestingly, the network does not yet have MLS broadcast rights.  However, the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Championship will featured on the network.  The station is exploring such broadcasts and intends to offer shows covering TFC and MLS to its schedule.  TFC already does an oustanding job with broadcasts through its website.  Using GolTV’s platform seems like a great next step to expand TFC’s footprint throughout Canada.

T.V. Tidbits: US/Mexico TV Ratings & Red Bull Rights Deal

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MLS ratings may be flat, but the U.S. National Team continues to draw well on TV.  In televising the  US/Mexico clash on Wednesday,  ESPN2 logged a .8 rating (over a million viewers) setting a new record for a World Cup Qualfier.  Add in the more than 5.5 million viewers on Spanish Language TV and close to 7 million people in the States watched the 2-0 US win on television.  As we have said before, there is a big audience for soccer in this country, MLS just needs to find a way to capture those eyeballs.

msg Meanwhile, according to reports, the NY Rebulls have signed a three year rights deal to televise Red Bull games on the MSG network.  While financial terms were not announced, New York fans will be pleased to have a destination for local broadcast of at least 20 games.  The deal also includes a studio show and Shep Messing!red-bulls2