Soccer Business Bits: MUN2 Interview, MLS Expansion Update and More

us-soccerWith the Mexico/USA qualifier set for Wednesday on MUN2, we posed a couple of questions about the broadcast and the channel to Kevin Dugan of NBC Universal/Mun2 digital media.  Please see his thoughts below:

Footiebusiness: mun2 seems targeted to the Spanish speaking offspring of native Spanish speakers, yet this game will attract many native English speakers outside the typical target audience.

Does mun2 intend to retain these viewers going forward?

Kevin Dugan: Most of the original programs on mun2 are in English. We also program the best Spanish language content form Latin America with English subtitles – not unlike other networks, which regularly import English-language shows from the United Kingdom.

FB: Do you believe your programming is attractive to those of a non-hispanic  background?

KD: Absolutely! Check it out for yourself:

holamun2.com/chicas http://www.holamun2.com/chicas
holamun2.com/xtreme http://www.holamun2.com/xtreme
holamun2.com/hookup http://www.holamun2.com/hookup

FB: In addition to the game, what else will mun2 be doing to keep these viewers?

KD: Being ourselves – uniquely American!

FB: Given that this is the first time many viewers will be exposed to mun2, you will have a unique opportunity to create a first impression.  Did you consider broadcasting live from Azteca in order to improve the level of the broadcast?

KD: The Telemundo Deportes team will handle the production of the game. The Telemundo Deportes team is incredibly experienced having covered hundreds of matches around the world. We’re in great hands!
We have also just posted a video that includes interviews about the game with Lionel Messi, Carlos Bocanegra, and Jorge Campos, among others. Check it out: http://www.holamun2.com/usavsmex.  We will be posting similar videos leading up to the game. We look forward to you joining us on mun2 next week. Thank you!

Thanks to Kevin Dugan:  Here are a couple of additional notes from around MLS:

We are traveling this weekend, so just a couple of quick  hits.  First, Don Garber has seemingly foreclosed the possibility of Montreal joining MLS in 2011 as part of the Vancouver/Portland entry into the League.  However, according to this article, the addition of Montreal seems like a certainty, perhaps as early as 2012.  For our thoughts on Montreal (and South Florida) joining MLS click here.

One team that will definitely be joining the League is the Philadlelphia Union.   The team is reportedly nearing 10k in ticket sales.  For those eager to see stadium progress, click here for construction photos.

Our series on MLS fans will continue this week.  Please stay tuned for more.

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US/Mexico 2

tv soccerYesterday we posted the following:  There are a couple of interesting TV notes surrounding US soccer this week.  The most significant is the announcement that the English rights to the USA/Mexico World Cup qualifier belong to……Telemundo.  According to Mr. Goff, Telemundo will show the game in Spanish on its main channel and in English on “mun2″ a station available in only 30 million households.  Telemundo is owned by NBC.  According to Goff, ESPN attmpted to purchase the game from Telemundo, but the rights were not for sale.  Given the strange start time (4:00 p.m. ET) for the midweek game, the match will likely not be a ratings dynamo.  Yet, the lack of availability in English will dramatically impact the ability of the work crowd to catch the game at a bar and of the college/school crowd to watch the game at home.  This is the biggest World Cup qualifier in years, and Telemundo’s power play will likely deny millions of American sports fans the opportunity to watch the game.  In the last 24 hours, the issue has generated a substantial amount of publicity.

Here is another post from Match Fit USA on the issue.

There is an online petition circulating in order to convince Telemundo and its parent NBC to move the game to a more traditional english langugage network.  Go here to participate.  The American run in the Confederations Cup generated a substantial amount of interest in American soccer and there is no bigger US soccer event than then a World Cup Qualifier against Mexico.  Given that confluence of factors, it is a shame that the game will not be on traditional US TV.  While the benefit of online petitions is dubious, we recommend that you participate.