MLS Needs to do better media in NON MLS Cities

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by msmallwood, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    I live in an NFL , but non MLS city, and there is no coverage to speak of the MLS Here.

    Our NFL Team gets 9 pages a day year round in our sports page, The only MLS Coverage is on the Last Page of the paper and its a Standings box only.

    If it was not for ESPN or the Internet, Id never know there was a game on or a league for that matter . There is More Mexican League promotions on our Spanish Channel then MLS on our English Networks.

    There is no news coverage at all on tv news sports.And talk radio is like why do we want to talk about Soccer its for non Americans.

    I don`t think the league is doing much to win over Non MLS markets to support the league in general.

    When i speak to my friends back in England about the new teams, after they stop laughing , yes by the way they think RSL Is a Joke.

    They go on to tell me how most of Europe thinks that the MLS is a joke of a league and it`s talent is no better then English 3rd Division includeing Freddy Adu.

    I really have no information to support a challange to them, when the only thing we get is a weekend match and little else.

    I want to be a fan of the league, but it is very hard when the MLS is not provideing Information out in Mass to Non-MLS Cities, well at least my city, I can`t say it`s the same way in all Non-MLS Cities .
  2. Crewbasher

    Crewbasher Member

    Jul 7, 1999
    The Enemy Base
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just out of curiosity, in which city do you live?

    By the way, your English friends are ignorant. Tell 'em I said that. And tell them to bugger off.
  3. astabooty

    astabooty Member

    Nov 16, 2002
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i agree, but mls doesnt have much that they can do now. they will have better options when their contract with espn is up i guess.
    with goltv and fox soccer channel (in the works i believe) there will be competition and it would be great if they could get shared rights to mls so lets say 75% of the games could be shown on tv, besides local media, ppv, and the internet.
    maybe if espn deportes gets on more program lists then they could pick up some games too.

    when the majority of the country can see MLS games pretty easily or for just a few bucks a month, media coverage will pick up i am sure.

    plus there is expansion.
  4. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004

    I live in Nashville, and on a side note I can`t tell my English Friends to Bugger off, cuz I am 1/2 English and 1/2 Irish so i`d be telling myself to bugger off .

    And Telling me as a new member of this board to tell my own Heritage to bugger off , does not help me want to be a fan of the MLS and I did say that I want to be a fan of the league .

    There reason for saying the MLS is nothing more then a 3rd Division is valid, as they point out that the age of the league , the MLS teams can not match up with upper Divisions teams.

    When our teams are able to win the Copa Cups or reach the finals year after year , i think the league will be looked on more highly.

    And top Internationals still in their youth and prime will choose the MLS over Europe.

    For astabo0t

    Do they offer more MLS Matches on Dishnetwork systems ?
  5. seadonkey

    seadonkey Member

    Aug 1, 2000
    I am not sure where you can check out the history/results of MLS teams vs. Euro teams but we hold our own against them. Perhaps that would help influence MLS' credibility?
  6. PaulGascoigne

    PaulGascoigne Member+

    Feb 5, 2001
    Hey, I hate to hijack the thread, but MLS marketing sucks *IN* MLS towns as well. You would hardly know Dallas had a team unless you paid a lot of attention to Spanish-language media. It seems that the mainstream media coverage has gotten WORSE, at least according to folks who live in Dallas. Soccer might as well be baseketball to people here in Nashville.

    MLS teams have victories against a lot of good clubs, but I'll focus on our favorite whipping boys:

    MLS vs. EPL All-Time Record

    (7 Wins, 4 Draws, O Losses)*
    *=one of the wins came on PK's

    07/20/99 Derby County (ENG) W 1-0 Chicago, IL
    05/14/97 Leeds United (ENG) W 2-1 Columbus, OH
    07/26/00 Newcastle United (ENG) D 2-2 Columbus, OH

    07/22/00 Newcastle United (ENG) W 3-1 Washington, DC
    10/16/02 Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) W 1-0 London, UK
    05/14/03 Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) W 1-0 Washington, DC
    07/23/03 Blackburn Rovers (ENG) D 1-1 Washington, DC (won PKs)

    LA Galaxy

    05/21/97 Aston Villa (ENG) D 1-1 Pasadena, CA

    San Jose

    05/13/97 Aston Villa (ENG) D 1-1 San Jose, CA

    Miami Fusion (defunct)
    07/12/00 Nottingham Forest (ENG 1) W 3-2 Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    Tampa Bay (defunct)
    05/20/98 Leicester City (ENG) D 0-0 Tampa, FL
  7. Minnman

    Minnman Member+

    Feb 11, 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First, just how can MLS "do better media in non-MLS cities." The league can't force papers in some MLS cities to provide adequate coverage, much less influence papers in cities without a franchise. I've tired of beating my head against this wall. If it happens, it happens. Just because the local TV stations here in Columbus don't seem to know the Crew exists doesn't invalidate sellouts for the last two Crew games. Screw the media.

    Now, re: your friends, you just go ahead and tell them that, yes, MLS is a joke. Nationwide quality at best. Portugal thought much of the same back in 2002.

    If European soccer fans insist on looking down their noses at the way the game is played in the States then they're setting themselves up for another round of surprises in the next WC. Just which Americans do your your friends think were playing Germany in that round of eight WC match two years ago? Most of those guys were either MLS-based or at lest started their careers here. No one, by which I mean no one of any intelligence, boasts that MLS is one of the world's great leagues, but the league IS producing some rather fine young talent and we're blessed with a national team head coach who knows how to take these players and develop them into a team that needs to be reckoned with.

    If your friends assume that silly club nicknames in MLS = crappy football, then they're fools.
  8. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    It`s not the names that they feel make the league crap, its the system its self. Bare in mind , they are traditionalist who think any league with out Promotion n Relegation is not the right way a league should be run.

    I did not start this thread as a league bashing, I was asking about the media coverage its not very good .

    I do agree that RSL is not the best name in the World. Having our best 24 do well in the world cup does not mean that our league is at the same level as those 24 players.

    USA Soccer is creating some great new stars, who some are leaving the MLS for Europe, maybe more so do to Income then league play.

    Greece has won the Euro cup , but when was the last Champions league won by a Greek League team. having a strong world cup squad does not mean that top to bottom every player in the MLS is just that strong, but we are growing as a league.

    The EPL may or may not be the best league in the world, but look at the English and other British National teams records, they are not very strong as of late. Still top to Bottom the league right now is better then ours. Thanks to having 116 yrs of pro league play to build on.

    I would like to see the MLS become a better run version of the NASL one day, with the best players in the World thinking MLS first and Europe Second.

    As far as MLS Records what is our CONCACAF RECORD vs The first team rosters of those opponents, and the games vs the EPL were the EPL useing their first team Rosters against us, these are things that my friends will respect is first team on first team records and Titles.

    Some of you have said that it is not the MLS fault that media does not cover the league better, but it is. If you look at how the NFL markets it`s league its every where. There is no reason for the MLS Not to have a major TV deal on one of the National networks , not just ESPN 2Games on the same day and time as NFL Games are going on And Jerseys and Kits are no where to be found in the malls, but i see football, basketball, baseball and hockey in bulk.

    In my town we had a game between a Mexican League team and the Galaxy this year and 26,000 were there with very little promotion of it.

    More Media will bring in more viewers and more fans and converts from other leagues like me and instead of looseing $300 million we could grow like the J-league who is about to have its 3rd Division in 06 or 07 and only 4 yrs older then the MLS.
  9. Lithium858

    Lithium858 Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Baton Rouge
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Try picking up a copy of the San Diego Union-Tribune sometime.
  10. NattyBo

    NattyBo Member+

    Apr 30, 2004
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    You might want to tell your friend that MLS is undefeated against all English clubs.. DC beat Nottingham Forest this year too (on PKs)

    DC United was the best team in the Western Hempisphere in 1998, it could be in the CONCACAF region, and beat Vasco de Gama in the Intercontinental Championship with saying MLS teams cant hang with lower division teams is just bunk...hell, thats why most of our good players are taken to play in those leagues. They have also beaten Newcastle, Leeds and Tottenham..

    IF your friends can figure out a way that promotion and relegation can work in a country 40 times bigger than theirs, Id like to hear it.

    In conclusion, your friends can stuff it.

    Not that MLS doesnt need better media coverage, but I hate people who think MLS is utter crap without looking in to it.
  11. Buzz Killington

    Buzz Killington Member+

    Oct 6, 2002
    Lee's Summit
    Kansas City Wizards
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I will again say it is not MLS's fault, you say that they need to do a better job of promoting, you say that the NFL market is everywhere, that's because the NFL is the biggest league in the US right now, it's pretty much the most popular sport in the US now, and it therefore appeals to more people then MLS does. MLS can't force networks to carry games, just because 2 of the 4 major networks have football, that doesn't mean the other two would get a contract with MLS to show games. By the way, MLS technically has a deal with a major network, ABC, problem is ABC only shows like 3-4 games a year. MLS and soccer as a whole is still not taken very seriously by people in the US, and this could be because the US isn't the top league in the sport, which it is in the other 4 major sports.
  12. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004

    That is very easy.

    First the current MLS 12 becomes the Premier Division.
    Take the next 12 major Cities who wish to enter the MLS , and Become MLS2
    Then its the last place team in Each Conference or the last 2 overall in points Relegated down and the MLS 2 team with the best overall points at the end of the season gets automatic promotion. And the second team would come from the playoff finalist.

    The A-League teams could enter MLS 2 , by promotion , with a rule of having 3 yrs to put together a plan for an SSS Stadium or an agreement to play in a bigger Stadium .

    Its not very hard to do, if the powers that be would think outside the box.

    If many of us, me included can edit Championship Manager Leagues or Football Manager Leagues to create MLS and A-League to Promote and Relegate then the powers with the income can 2.

    The Japanese J-League has a stadium rule of 15,000 to enter the J-League , that could be a starting point for teams wishing to enter the MLS .

    Nashville drew 26,000 for an International Game this year , we have a 68,000 seat stadium.

    Their are stadiums in the States to do it, and as your boards on Expansion show there is cities that want the MLS so it can be done . That is if you want to break away from being just like every other USA league.

    That is just one way that it could be done.
  13. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    msmallwood welcome to BigSoccer. You make some very good points that have been discussed extensively. In some cases beyond the dead horse phase. For example the topic of Promotion/Relegation is now just a pile of stinky bones. You can do a search on BigSoccer to view all of the past discussions on the subject.

    Again you brought up some very good points, but here's a couple of reasons why it's not that easy.

    Media - For the most part it's the chicken or the egg stage. For the most part in this country, the media won't cover something until it get's big.

    Ownership/Expansion - There are plenty of cities that want to have teams. However there aren't plenty of owners stepping forward to by teams. You still have a league that is losing money and a few owners owning most of the teams. Also, adding promotion/relegation would probably reduce that small number. How many people want to spend the $10 mil for a MLS franchise and end up with a $1 mil A-League franchise.

    Again thanks for posting.
  14. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Marketing and Media are two completely seperate things. One can influence the other, but that's another discussion.

    MLS can't force media - anywhere - to provide coverage. "Payola" is considered an illegal influence over the media in the U.S. The way MLS will eventually get covered in non-MLS cities is to continue to grow and become more relevant to American sports culture. We're not talking next year - or probably even the next 10 years.

    As to MLS marketing efforts in non-MLS cities: I can't think of a single reason for MLS to spend the money necessary to market the league for "mindshare" reasons in non-MLS cities or cities not targetted for MLS expansion. MLS is still running in the red, and properly done marketing is not cheap.
  15. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    So, last year - you would've relegate the MetroStars and promoted the Charleston Battery.

    Please explain how the league would operate without a team in the NYC area, and explain how Charleston, a team with a 5,000 seat stadium and a couple million dollar budget could afford to operate at MLS levels.

    I'm not talking about "inside the box", I'm talking about the "financial and geographical realities of the United States."

    If Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea were relegated and Gillingham, Millwall and Preston North End promoted to the EPL, London would still be covered - and teams like Gillingham could rent out White Hart Lane if necessary. Those are the realities of soccer in Europe.

    They are not the realities of professional soccer in the United States - nor will they ever be.
  16. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Video games are not the same thing as reality. Put down the controller and step away from the PC. You've been online a little too long and need a short rest. The folks in the white coats will be by in a little while but in the meantime, try to stay calm and keep away from sharp onjects.
  17. kumazou

    kumazou Member

    Jun 29, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    I hope that MLS and whoever holds the tv rights in the future can take advantage of MLS playing during the summer. I recently moved to Chile and thought for sure that ESPN or ESPN+ would show some MLS matches while Europe and Argentina were on break, but was greeted with a lot of beach soccer and other crap. Puting my bias aside, I would much rather watch a growing league that is producing decent talent than beach soccer or fishing. I think it would help the league gain some international respect if there was more exposure. Most of the people I talk to here ridicule MLS, but NO ONE has ever seen a match. The schedule of the league, while a pain for transfer windows and the like, has some advantages. It seems like a win-win situation if ESPN already owns the rights to MLS to show it when the other leagues are on break. Is it different for international broadcasts?
  18. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Bob thanks for the kind welcome, well this post started out as about the lack of media coverage. Then it wen to bashing my English Heritage and my Friends back in England .

    I see both yours and my points as valid, it could be done if planed right, but going back to your points the planing, the image the media and marketing is just not there for it.

    And we could argue who is at fault over this, but why do so we have no power over this.

    But if i play owner here for a moment, first of all my mind set as being MLS Owner would be to make the MLS the biggest league in the World, not just the USA.

    Media blitz would be one thing, to create an image that would support multi divisions you would have to incoporate all the leagues under the MLS name.
    Then create an image that A-League cities are just as important as MLS Cities.

    Take the A-League cities for the most part they are in NFL Markets, that right there gives you a big city image to build from. Its all about image if you want to make multi divisions work then you have to create and image of value overall. Maybe a fully owned MLS system

    Oh what I left out was that MLS 2 Teams would not drop to the A-league , instead the A-league would be like the Japans JFL .Teams that want to join the MLS 2 would meet a set of conditions over 3 years then join the MLS 2.

    Again everything goes back to the powers that be wanting to be creative.

    I have tried to watch this league but it is not easy to keep interest when i know that there is nothing to loose if my team has a bad year .

    Like my NFL Titans it looks like we are going to have a bad year, the only thing that i have to look forward to is next years draft . The same for MLS you do bad its well there is next years draft.

    Were as in Scotland i am living and dieing each week with Inverness battle to stay in the Scottish Premier League, there is a lot to be said in watching your team make the rise up and fight it out with the big boys on the block.
  19. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004

    Thank you for saying what I have been trying to get across, it is hard to get locked into a league when there is very few games on TV each week.Why not have some prime time games at night when college or NFL is not on
  20. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You mean like the prime time games on Fox Sports World every Saturday? And the additional prime time games you can get on the Direct Kick package?
  21. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    In fact, MLS broadcasts a far higher percentage of its games than any other league.

    138 of 150 regular season games were broadcast and available to those with DirectKick and HDNet. Of the 12 that weren't shown, one (COL @ DC on 6/12) was supposed to be broadcast on both CSN-DC and FSW, but was bounced by a rescheduled Baltimore Orioles game.

    I have 136 of the 138 recorded on DVD - many with two or three seperate broadcasts.
  22. msmallwood

    msmallwood New Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    I don`t have those service , guess i would have to get a Dish Network to see our Domestic League.
  23. humstein

    humstein New Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    With deep respect to all those who have added their thoughtful opinions to this thread.
    This topic is like many others on Big Soccer. The answer is fundamentally the same. Soccer is a new sport on the professional level in the US. It is growing at a wonderful rate, bringing in many people including girls and women.
    With time and further growth the media will pay greater attention to soccer. The growth must come before the greater media attention. Keep up the good work and soccer with prosper in all its glory in this hemisphere.

    Perry Mark
  24. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Most digital cable systems offer Fox Sports World and MLS Direct Kick. If your local company does not, Dish Network and DirecTV do, and the satellite services are in many cases more affordable than cable.

    Even ignoring MLS, if you're a fan of English soccer and do not have Fox Sports World, you are way behind the times.
  25. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Over the air:
    3 games on ABC

    Basic cable/satellite service:
    One game per week on espn2

    Extended cable/satellite service:
    1 game per week in English/Spanish on FSW/FSE

    If you have a settop box that decodes HD signals and get HDNet
    1 game per week in 1080i HD!

    DirectKick - available via cable, DirecTV and DISH Network for only $69
    over 100 out of market MLS games - including those on over-the-air local channels

    Sports Pack - Regional Sports Package available on DirecTV and DISH Network:
    Numerous non-blacked out MLS rebroadcasts on various local RSNs allowing you to see virtually every game every week with only one receiver.

    Free viewing of most games via Yahoo!

    Anyone that "can't see" MLS is actively trying to avoid it.

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