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MLS ratings flop on NBC
by Paul Kennedy, September 18th, 2012 1:10AM

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TAGS:  soccer business, television


By Paul Kennedy

Major Soccer League's debut on NBC was a ratings flop: Saturday's game between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders in the Cascadia Cup drew a 0.4 overnight rating, making it lowest overnight rating of the weekend for a live sporting event on network television, Sports Media Watch reported.

Even Sunday’s USA-Australia women’s friendly drew a higher rating: 0.5.

This is the first year of a three-year media rights agreement between MLS and NBC.

The partnership calls for 45 MLS games and four U.S. national team contests to be televised live across both NBC and NBC Sports Network each season.

Each season, NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff games and two national team games. It marks the first time four MLS matches will be broadcast on English-language network television since 2002.

After a slow start, ratings have improved on NBC Sports Network.

After 27 regular-season games, MLS's ratings on NBC Sports Network were up 101 percent in average viewership compared to the 2011 regular-season average on Fox Soccer (137,000 vs. 68,000).

MONEY MATTERS. There was at least one piece of good news at Real Madrid, off to a terrible start to the 2012-13 La Liga season.

Real Madrid finished the 2011-12 fiscal year with income totaling $674. million, a 7 percent increase over the previous year and a world record for a sports club. Net earnings were down 23 percent to $31.7 million, though its indebtedness fell $59 million to $164 million.
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7 comments
  1. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.
    SMART INCENTIVES for Television Audiences will Market Football and push ratings sky-high! ____________ I am glad to read this because it is time Football stopped 'marketing' its empty seats and empty stadiums. Thousands of EMPTY STADIUMS, hundreds of millions of EMPTY SEATS, LOST SALES computed in billions = FLOP RATINGS! Soccer America is writing about the flop, at least they are being honest and this is how the problem can be corrected

  1. Steve Scherrer
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.
    Ivan: ?? Not sure what the comment is for, because the Portland Seattle game had not a single seat empty, with one of the most fervent and exciting fanbases in the country. I thought it was a pretty good game, as well. You certainly can't say that this game on NBC marketed "empty seats and empty stadiums".

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 11:37 a.m.
    MLS soccer games are poorly televised and the commentaries are winded garbage...watching a contest with 30-40% of turnovers isn't skillful. Having the video flip-flop from facial closeups is boring when the center of gravity is the ball and the players involved.

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.
    Worst part is the windbag color people who think the broadcast is about them. Have these people never listened to a good EPL broadcast where the announcer's main job is to tell you who is on the ball? With the poor camera work MLS matches are very hard to follow unless it is your favorite team where you know every one by their running style. Shut the "color" people up, and get announcers that know their job.

  1. Ron Leedy
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 2:27 p.m.
    Sport fans want to see the play and tactics being used. Otherwise, why would the other sports use so much graphics to show how plays develop. I wouldn't want them using it during play but at the half or during an injury stoppage it would be a better show then a close up of the coach or player for 30 seconds. Also, toss the commentators and get someone who knows soccer. If it was not against their ethics, a retired MLS Referee would make a great commentator. They know when to interject themselves.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
    Amici sportivi...ONE COMMENTATOR IS ENOUGH, his only failure would be asking himself a ? and than answering it...a couple of cameras is enough, closeup of thrown-ins, players walking back to their position, watching coach Kinnear spit a half dozen consecutive times, etc, that's nonsense..reality has disappeared when the game is speaking for itself, the commentary is drowning it.

  1. Paolo Jacobs
    commented on: September 18, 2012 at 9:57 p.m.
    NBC does a good job with their broadcast's,, and Arlo white is a fantastic commentator/play by play.... its that MLS is up against the girdiron juggernaunt...in the fall season....and MLB playoff chase....soccer gets a bit swallowed up in the fall... but Portland and seattle,, soccer is the king sport! which is great


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