MLS asking FSC for $20M a year

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by Stan Collins, Dec 20, 2010.

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  1. holiday

    holiday Member

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    i must admit when i peeked at vikings-bears last night i did not find myself thinking 'i want that!'
    it was more like 'it's nice and warm inside.'


  2. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Every league has disruptions with the local and the international Cups, FIFA dates and so on.

    It's just how things are.
  3. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    I'm all for staying the course right now with the changes that have been made.

    I want to see what happens over the next couple of years with regards to the rosters, homegrown players, the 3 new expansion teams, effect on CCL results, etc...

    ...I think sometimes you need to take a breathe and I feel that MLS is there right now.

    Get a contract, keep working on those stadia, improve the pool, etc.

    I have always said from the day MLS began that years 20 to 25 would allow us to actually define the league with some accuracy. We aren't that far off.

    The friendlies and tourneys will always be there in some shape or form.

    The strength and perception of the league (play wise, fan wise and financially) will determine what to do with the extra curricular activities.
    I don't think MLS is there yet (mess with the schedule that much), but in 5 years they easily can be...

    ....maybe even a year, or if everything goes well two earlier.

    I think the bottle has been opened, time to let it breathe a bit.
  4. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    absolutely.

    and MLS (with their March-Nov schedule and their interest/need in scheduling summer international club friendlies) additionally creates those (friendly) conflicts on their own. that is how things are.

    this discussion got side-tracked when someone offhandedly asked about having a summer off season and what that would mean for MLS's broadcast partners. (that prompted a brief discussion of how things could be in some distant/unknown future. and I happen to like the idea of that future in which summer friendlies are played in the off-season and don't further disrupt the league schedule, as all of those regular in-season events that you noted do each year in the other months across the calendar.)

    right on.

    the growth and expansion years will take MLS almost up to it's 20th birthday.

    then the league can find out what it is, and what it can become once it actually has a full (or full enough at 20) complement of teams.

    but the ability to find and retain (and re-up for more cash with) media partners is a huge part of that business.

    there's nothing wrong with what MLS is (and has been) doing as it matures. the exciting questions and answers will unfold as MLS decides and implements what it really wants to do with itself and how it wants to operate as a business once it truly has found it's feet and completed this (initial, roughly two-decade long) "establishment" period.

    certainly these broadcast rights deals (which regularly are for multi-year periods) are more prospective than retrospective, as someone wisely pointed out earlier.


  5. monster

    monster Member

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    I don't know why this occurred to me, but I wonder if the deal covers one SUM property which could justify a big price tag.

    [​IMG]

    SUM re-upped them earlier this year. Univision has the Spanish rights, but maybe they are trying to leverage the English broadcasts, particularly if SUM is working on lining up some big games for them.
  6. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    I can't help but stress this point.

    A few years back few wanted to even pay for MLS as prospective property.

    Now, we all hate FIFA but if you want to know how our criminals have helped the game here all you have to do is look at the TV contract.

    Without FIFA giving everyone the finger, and forcing stations to sign MLS or lose FIFA properties, we could be much worse off.

    Scary to think about...but true.
  7. sidspaceman

    sidspaceman Moderator Staff Member

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    Problem with that is the SUM doesn't own the English language rights to EL Tri.
  8. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    does anyone in the US?
  9. sidspaceman

    sidspaceman Moderator Staff Member

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    The FMF does as far as I know is that they negotiate the TV deals themselves.
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  10. monster

    monster Member

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    Who does? Not being argumentative - I could only find news on the Spanish rights that Univision got last year.
  11. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    that is the gist of it, but I do think your wording is a bit off. All FIFA had to note about the US market was that Disney and Univision were already and would very likely continue to be better "broadcast partners for soccer" than NBC was, and was offering to be, on the whole back in 2005 (see link below).

    absolutely agree.

    http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/11-5-2005-80652.asp

    the real aid from FIFA in this area was a huge shot in the arm for the business of MLS. The importance of what Chuck Blazer did with the FIFA ExCo back in Oct/Nov of 2005 can not be overstated.

    this is all slowly but surely unfolding and building from the moment when it was first agreed (just over 4 years ago) that MLS/SUM's tv partners would be paying a rights fee for MLS content.
  12. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

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    Hmm, yeah. It's a bit less effort to watch FSC today in terms of acquiring the right package, finding them on the dial, and finding out the schedule, than it might have been a few years ago, but it's still an effort.

    I guess it would be something more like that the presence of the game on ESPN somewhat enables the existence of casual fans. (Timeslots notwithstanding, it is still otherwise substantially easier to watch soccer there than FSC.)

    And, so that theory might go, if ESPN is creating casual fans, FSC needs to pull in as many of the hardcores as possible to maintain respectable presence in the market. (That includes the fact that casuals can become hardcores over time, and you might not want them completely habituated to watching the opposition.)

    Yeah, I'm not sure. I'm thinking that, given the current audience numbers, a substantial proportion of those watching on FSC are probably strongly interested in one of the two teams (usually the road team, because such people, if the home team is what interests them strongly, are often found at the game). If so, FSC might not have all that much to lose broadcasting more games, perhaps not nearly as much as ESPN would.
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  13. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    I agree. Fans will always want the pace of improvement to come faster, but again, look at what the league has done since 2005: 7 new franchises have been awarded, six new stadiums have opened with Kansas City set for next June, the DP rule has been introduced and expanded, the academies and reserve league have been sorted out, shirt sponsors now are paying teams a lot of money for their jerseys -- it's incredible.

    Now the league just needs to develop and get stronger, and you're right that may take another ten or fifteen years. They'll undoubtedly tweak some things, but I do think that the model is fundamentally sound.
  14. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    My wording is for the facts be damned/research challenged crowd. Need to make impact statements/hyperbole to get their attention.;)

    It was a not to subtle, we love you, but just do this...OK?:D
  15. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    gotcha.

    I also think that NBC's relationship with the IOC and their coverage of Olympic soccer (one of FIFA's least favorite things, it would seem, although Blazer did fail to mention that soccer coverage by NBC during his dissing of NBC back in 2005) also must have played some part in FIFA's ExCo decision and willingness to pull the rug out from under NBC for 2007-2014 FIFA broadcast rights, and allowed the Disney and Univision deals to come into reality.

    and those deals set the groundwork for a (more, relatively speaking) favorable media environment for MLS and SUM in recent years (and likely for many years to come). (and I just can't stay mad at FIFA given their superlative efforts in this area and what they have done to truly help MLS establish itself and grow as a league and business.)
  16. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    Yup. It was a big deal, and will continue to be.

    Everyone likes a criminal...when it's their criminal and things go their way...


    ...when it doesn't you see the lunacy and ignorance (even for BS) after the WC votes. Gotta know what you are dealing with.
  17. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    completely agree with this, mostly for the simple fact that ESPN/ESPN2 are in some 86% of US households, while FSC is not even in 1/3 US households.

    ESPN has a significantly larger sample from which to find and cultivate casual fans.

    FSC is (for the most part) that destination for those casual fans that have become devoted soccer fans and need to have the channel (to get their required soccer fix).

    and for its part, FSC needs (it would seem, given the report of their $7Mil offer) to have MLS content to cater to those devoted fans (even if those devoted fans of MLS don't really add up to all that many eyeballs).
  18. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    hey, that's my FIFA you're talking about. "Criminal" is such a strong word.

    "Shady business operation" (kinda like the NFL) is a much more pleasant, if not accurate, label.

    absolutely. (and who really is ever going to be able to stop FIFA from doing what FIFA wants to do?)

    playing by FIFA's rules/decisions (for soccer, and the business of soccer) is basically the only way to play the game.
  19. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    Since your MO is to argue for the sake of arguing, and to pretend you don't udnerstand the obvious, I'll just make the point one last time.

    MLS' ratings are low. They need to be higher for that to happen.
  20. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    everyone's MO here is to argue (or discuss) for the sake of arguing (or discussion).

    you're not really defending your position that well or answering the specific question about your opinion.

    when will it happen? when will the league be grown up enough to support something that you currently think it is too immature to handle?

    (if we don't know the answer to that, and I admit we don't, then what's to prevent the answer to be "sooner than you think, or anyone thinks"?)

    apparently MLS's ratings aren't so low that it's preventing FSC from reportedly offering to raise their fees paid by about 133%. (not that we know that the content package will remain consistent.)
  21. BirdsonFire

    BirdsonFire Member

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    Or he is like Milton in Office Space....


    They stopped paying him years ago and he just keeps showing up.
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  22. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    That's different from having a game on Versus AND on FSC AND on ESPN2 every week.
  23. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    agreed, it is different.

    but each are (or would be) "unexpected" in some sense.

    so, to me, it wouldn't be shocking if other "unexpected things" (or unimaginable things like MLS returning to four "national broadcast partners") happened for MLS in 2011 (or soon).

    again, our understanding of the marketplace (and what goes into or doesn't go into these types of negotiations and deals) is rather limited.

    your opinion that "games on Versus AND on FSC AND on ESPN2 every week" won't happen may be reasonable/accurate, but to me there's nothing really preventing all those big "ANDs" in 2011 (in the same sense that nothing is preventing FSC from shockingly offering $7Mil/year).

    (also note that questioning someone's opinion or asking for clarification/explanation of it is vastly different from what you have labeled me as doing -- "pretending to not understand the obvious." by disagreeing with or questioning your opinion, it is a clear statement that I don't think your own take is an obvious or certain item.)
  24. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    Dammit! Made me spit out coffee on my keyboard!

    I love Steven Root.
  25. X@V!3R

    X@V!3R Member

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    As strange as it may seem, this amount of exposure might even de-value MLS as a property for any or all of these outlets. Part of of what pushes up the price MLS is capable of charging is being able to give these broadcasters some level of exclusivity. Further segmenting an already small pie of MLS viewers won't equate to better ratings for ESPN/FSC/etc ... or more advertising revenues.
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