Commentary

Manchester United's next target: U.S. market

By Paul Kennedy and Ridge Mahoney

Manchester United reported record revenues of $552 million and record net profits of $222 million for the fiscal year ending last June, and the driving force behind the growth is its increased commercial revenue, up 29.7 percent in sponsorship, merchandising and product sales.

United revenues should again jump substantially next year as money from the new EPL TV contract -- estimated to be an increase of as much as 38 percent -- kick in, but the club is looking at U.S. market as its next growth market for revenues.

"The U.S. market is under-penetrated," Red Devils executive vice chairman Ed Woodward told the Daily Mail. 'It is a very big media market, the most developed sports market in the world. But we don’t want to deals that are quick and wrong, that tie us up and we regret afterwards. We believe there has been an inflection point from 2010-11 when interest levels in football have increased."

Woodward cited an increase of 30-35 percent per year for Man United viewing figures in the United States over the last three years.

EPL ON NBC. Saturday's Chelsea-Everton game on NBC averaged 917,000 viewers, making it the fourth most-watched EPL match ever on U.S. television. NBCSN's three live EPL broadcasts last weekend averaged 332,000.

FRIDAY HOME FOR MLS. Friday night's broadcast of the Seattle-Real Salt Lake match with first place on the line in the Supporters' Shield and Western Conference races averaged 177,000 viewers on NBCSN, the second highest viewership of the 2013 MLS season on the network. The three Friday night MLS games on NBCSN over the last month have averaged 160,000 viewers.

DALLAS CUP EXTENDS FIESTA DEAL. Fiesta Mart has agreed to a two-year extension to remain the official grocer of the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.  Fiesta, a partner for the past four years, will continue to be the presenting sponsor of the Fiesta Fan Zone on the Cotton Bowl Plaza on opening day and of a new tournament feature for 2014 that will highlight memorable past World Cup moments from Dallas Cup alumni who have played on the world’s biggest stage.
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