By Paul Kennedy
MLS doesn't yet have its own television network, but it has its own soccer channel on YouTube: KickTV.
Soccer United Marketing, Major League Soccer's commercial arm, Bedrocket Media Ventures and Google are partners in KickTV, which features an unprecedented collection of new and original soccer shows aimed at U.S. viewers.
The on-air team includes former U.S. national team defender Jimmy Conrad; former Liverpool star and longtime New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol and Stuart Holden, back in England with Bolton Wanderers after spending three months in Delaware doing rehabilitation on his right knee.
Behind the scenes, KickTV content is led by Bedrocket VP of Programming Stefan Van Engen and MLSsoccer.com editor-in-chief Greg Lalas.
The channel, described "as a one-stop shop for everything involving soccer from around the globe" by Chris Schlosser, General Manager of MLS Digital, features
The Mixer, a daily look at soccer's biggest stories. Holden appears on No Holden Back. Other programming includes Kick Academy's instructional series.
THE BIG PICTURE. Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm that owns the NBA 76ers and NHL Flyers, and its Front Row Marketing subsidiary will organize the Trophée des Champions featuring the winners of France's Ligue 1 and the French Cup July 28 at Red Bull Arena. The French supercup match has previously been held in Montreal as well as Morocco and Tunisia.
The agreement with Ligue 1 gives Comcast-Spectacor entree into the French stadium market. France will undertake major construction ahead of Euro 2016. Ligue 1 clubs are desperate to change the face of their fan base from hard-core fans to family audiences, like those at U.S. sporting events, and increase their revenue streams.
TV NUMBERS. Telemundo and mun2 big scored big with Saturday's coverage of the Concacaf Olympic qualifying semifinals. The Mexico-Canada game on Telemundo delivered more than 1.6 million total viewers and was the No. 1 primetime program Saturday night on Spanish language TV among adults 18-49. Honduras-El Salvador was the most viewed program ever on mun2, with 481,000 viewers.
SPONSORSHIP FRONT. After the Portland Timbers, the Los Angeles Galaxy has reached an agreement with Alaska Airlines that will see the airline become an official partner of the club. Contest winners will receive round-trip tickets and Galaxy game tickets. The grand prize: a trip to see the Galaxy play on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes in the fall.
TWITTER WATCH. Liverpool's Twitter feed (@LFC) won the Shorty Award as the best by a sports team. @LFC has more than 841,000 followers. It links to news and blogs as well as runs quizzes and chats with former Liverpool greats.
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