Friday, August 19, 2011
Soccer's still acomin'
More proof that soccer is slowly creeping up on and threatening to take over hockey as the 4th major league sport in the United States came last week. NBC and MLS announced that beginning in 2012 NBC and the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) will be broadcasting MLS games for three years. This deal takes MLS away from the Fox Sports Network. ESPN will still air their slate of MLS games and the MLS Cup. But now MLS and several National Team games will be shown on a network that has twice has many households than the FSC. Plus, seeing MLS on NBC itself will be a huge boost for the game.
Attendance is up this year for the MLS. It has more corporate sponsors than ever before. The USMNT attracts a huge following. MLS is now outdrawing the NHL in average attendance. In fact it's threatening the NBA. The big hole it has to make up is in TV ratings. MLS still lags behind the NHL and is way behind the NBA in television viewership.
But it's coming. Fox has broadcasted the UEFA Champions League Championship game two years in a row on it's regular network. Within ten years MLS will be considered a full legit major league on par with the NBA and NHL and right behind MLB and the NFL. The Beautiful Game is here and it's not going anywhere.
photo: Jackson at his first MLS game at beautiful Pizza Hut Park, home of the Western Conference Champions F.C. Dallas.