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Fox Tries Again With the BPL

Red Reign

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
This is worth a read and pretty much nails it....this web site is a must read daily in my opinion....my favorite daily reads are usually from here...owned and operated by the national team players but arguably the most unbiased web site on the sport....


http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/ussoccerplayers/2012/02/fox-tries-again.html#more


I'm not a big fan of FSC or Fox and their production values...they do everything on the cheap....as I said in another thread glad to see Versus (NBC-Sports) get the MLS contract and half of the national team contract (both men and women)....MLS is growing and the increased production value will only help the sport in the USA...
 

HuskerSoccer04

Recruit
5 Year Member
This is worth a read and pretty much nails it....this web site is a must read daily in my opinion....my favorite daily reads are usually from here...owned and operated by the national team players but arguably the most unbiased web site on the sport....


http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/ussoccerplayers/2012/02/fox-tries-again.html#more


I'm not a big fan of FSC or Fox and their production values...they do everything on the cheap....as I said in another thread glad to see Versus (NBC-Sports) get the MLS contract and half of the national team contract (both men and women)....MLS is growing and the increased production value will only help the sport in the USA...
I loved seeing the game on Fox. It was great because we don't get FSC at college and we don't have NBC-Sports either. I think getting more Premier League matches on general cable where more people can view it can only help the game. Because let's face it, if you are a casual soccer fan (someone who watches WC matches and the occasional National Team match on ESPN 2) you aren't going to tune into an MLS game. The talent just isn't there. Also, you won't be getting up at 6:30 am on a Saturday to tune into ESPN 2. Heck, I've played and watched soccer almost non-stop for 11 years now and when I see an MLS match I think to myself "Eh.. is anything else on?" I think the huge draws for MLB, NFL and NBA is the fact that we are showing the best of the best. MLS is getting better but still far from that imo.

I think getting the MLS more widely appreciated is a harder task than many think. It is growing but there are a lot of steps needed to boost its attractiveness for the "casual fan" which is really what drives sports in America.
 

Porkchopexpress

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
I thought Fox did an alright job Sunday. I don't really pay much attention to production values when watching soccer (espeically if it's in HD), because the game speaks for itself. The NFL, MLB, NBA need lots of production, because of all the pauses in action. As long as a soccer game is in HD, and they don't screw up camera angles, it's all good with me.

The problem with Fox trying to buildl an audience for their Sunday morning games, is the fact that it's Sunday morning. People are not used to watching sporting events prior to noon on the East coast, and prior to 11am in CST. No matter what Fox tries to do, that's going to be their biggest obstacle. Maybe, if they can get the BPL to play along and push that Sunday game back to start an hour later, could things work well, but I doubt that happens.

As to the MLS. I think the biggest thing is getting soccer-specific stadiums. I saw first hand in KC, how Livestrong Sporting Park took SKC from an also-ran franchise in the KC market, to rivaling the Royals for coverage by September. No way that happens if SKC was still playing in Arrowhead with 70,000 empty seats. Creating a great gameday atmosphere will help TV coverage, which will help expand the sport. I know people in KC who would never have gone to a game at Arrowhead, but can't wait to get back to a game at LSP.
 

BGRed

Starter
15 Year Member
here's our story --- My wife was a high school athlete at a fairly large school in Iowa; played all sports except soccer and ended up playing Div III softball. I have no athletic skills except that I could run fairly well over short distances in my younger days; but, I have been a big sports fan my whole life.

Two summer ago, World Cup 2010. Our almost 8 year old twins (son and daughter) had just finished their fourth season of YMCA soccer (they played for Team Costa Rica in that spring 2010 season) and World Cup games were on in the morning as they were waking up. Fall of 2010, the kids were ready for something more competitive and we joined local club soccer here in our area. October 2010, we attended the US vs. Poland match at Solider Field, watching from the 7th row at what would be the 20-25 yard line on the Bears field. We ended up on the www.ussoccer.com mailing list and have been able to keep up on the national team since that time.

Women's World Cup - 2011. The US vs. Brazil game was during a vacation to the Vermont. We actually made a point to seek out a sports bar to watch the match instead of going for a hike or bike ride that day.

As we've learned the game and watched our kids develop skills for the game, it has become much more entertaining to us. We never had watched anything but World Cup games in the past and considered the game slow and boring. With the increase of games on TV, we have actually watched the US under-20 World Cup in Spanish on GALA network (DirecTV) and most of the National Team games when on TV or streamed.

We watched Women's Olympic Qualifying instead of the AFC/NFC Championship games after purchasing the extended sports package to get the Universal Sports Network channel on DirecTV. I sent the links to parents of my daughter's team and many watched the online streams. As part of the Sports Pack, we now get Fox Soccer Plus and Gol. We watched several FA Cup matches, including Liverpool beating Manchester United (my daughter's soccer coach is from England and a Liverpool fan). Everton (with Tim Howard and Landon Donovan) played Fulham (with Clint Dempsey) last week as well. We found Michael Bradley playing in an Italian League game over the weekend.

Our kids know most of the National Team players (both Men and Women) and based on our own experience, learning the game through the interest of our kids, the game does seem to be growing and I'm looking forward to watching more televised matches. I have the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wikipedia page bookmared and we're actually anxiously awaiting where the US World Cup match will be in early June.

Maybe a critical key to growing the connection with US fans is to be sure that we can watch National Team players in their normal league. Right now, this might mean something other than MLS for the near future. As fans move beyond being casual fans, they'll pick up the MLS and that league will slowly grow with more of the highest quality players.

I do feel sorry for my daughter - no professional Women's league in the US this season.
 
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HuskerSoccer04

Recruit
5 Year Member
Maybe a critical key to growing the connection with US fans is to be sure that we can watch National Team players in their normal league. Right now, this might mean something other than MLS for the near future. As fans move beyond being casual fans, they'll pick up the MLS and that league will slowly grow with more of the highest quality players.
That's kind of my take for the game right now. It seems to me that in the year leading up to the WC anticipation begins to mount for men's soccer and for the women's national team it seems to be right around 1-2 months before the world cup. And then during the summer it becomes this huge event and then 4 months later, boom nothing. I vaguely remember the 1998 WC, I was 6 1/2 years old at the time, but based on what experts say and my own experience with the last WC--- it really seems like we go through these cycles and to me its almost based on patriotism rather than interest in soccer. Just curious, do you know any fans of soccer that didn't a) play the game as a kid or b) have their child/young relative play the game as a kid? As cool as it is that the US is growing, I think we need more exposure to, for lack of a better term, "better" soccer to draw Americans in. But how to make a "better" MLS product and its implication for the national team and soccer in general is an entirely different thread :)
 
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Red Reign

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
Pet peeve but 'the MLS' drives me crazy....i.e. The Major League Soccer.......you can do it it with 'the BPL', but not 'the MLS'.....

MLS has grown in leaps and bounds....winning over the 'Euro-Snobs' is something that wouid be nice, but honestly I don't care...

I watched it grow a great deal in Salt Lake in our time living their....

MLS had been the reason football has grown as the national team level and as a sport....

You can't compare MLS at this point to leagues that have been around for 70+ years....if you look at the growth on its own since its debut in 1997 it has grown in leaps and bounds....

Actually getting more BPL games I disagree with....no offense meant but that is a 'Euro-Snob' argument....

I used to talk to folks at RSL matches who would wear BPL jerseys to games and would ask them have you ever been to a Manchester United match (as an example) an never had one say yes....no did they know anything about the city or culture....I convinced quite a few to buy RSL jerseys and most became fans...that is where we have to build football in this country....

And yes I follow QPR....but I lived in England for 8 years....my mom's brothers are almost all United fans....I guess what I'm trying to say is you have to get behind your local team in MLS and support them....in person and on TV....and FWIW the TV ratings have grown a great deal for MLS teams...NBC wanted in on the gig that tells you something right there.

My daughter and I are huge RSL fans....we have been there through the bad and good times....that is how we grow the sport in the USA...not by showing games from England...and yes I watch QPR....but I also understand what we need and have to do in the USA....

So I disagree...its not a hard task....just look at what the league has done since 2005....

I loved seeing the game on Fox. It was great because we don't get FSC at college and we don't have NBC-Sports either. I think getting more Premier League matches on general cable where more people can view it can only help the game. Because let's face it, if you are a casual soccer fan (someone who watches WC matches and the occasional National Team match on ESPN 2) you aren't going to tune into an MLS game. The talent just isn't there. Also, you won't be getting up at 6:30 am on a Saturday to tune into ESPN 2. Heck, I've played and watched soccer almost non-stop for 11 years now and when I see an MLS match I think to myself "Eh.. is anything else on?" I think the huge draws for MLB, NFL and NBA is the fact that we are showing the best of the best. MLS is getting better but still far from that imo.

I think getting the MLS more widely appreciated is a harder task than many think. It is growing but there are a lot of steps needed to boost its attractiveness for the "casual fan" which is really what drives sports in America.
 
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Red Reign

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
Agree....and all but two teams have those now....New England where Mr. Kraft who has more money than he knows what to do with and DC....which may just move to Baltimore....Houston and San Jose are in the process of building new stadiums....

RSL drew well at U of U's stadium....even better since the move to Rio Tinto their own stadium....so yeah I agree on that too....

Amazing to see the growth of the league and the sport....Montreal the newst member starts playing this season.....the teams in Canada now...:)

Ninteen teams now....I could see one more team and then cap it....hope St Louis gets that team...:)

There are still things the league needs to do to get better....but its a growing process....then again the Euro teams are all underwater in debot for the most part and you wonder how much longer that can go on too....La Liga and the BPL are in heavy debt with almost every team spending crazy money and sinking even further in the mud....MLS does not have that issue...which is a good thing...they are building a strong buisness model....

I thought Fox did an alright job Sunday. I don't really pay much attention to production values when watching soccer (espeically if it's in HD), because the game speaks for itself. The NFL, MLB, NBA need lots of production, because of all the pauses in action. As long as a soccer game is in HD, and they don't screw up camera angles, it's all good with me.

The problem with Fox trying to buildl an audience for their Sunday morning games, is the fact that it's Sunday morning. People are not used to watching sporting events prior to noon on the East coast, and prior to 11am in CST. No matter what Fox tries to do, that's going to be their biggest obstacle. Maybe, if they can get the BPL to play along and push that Sunday game back to start an hour later, could things work well, but I doubt that happens.

As to the MLS. I think the biggest thing is getting soccer-specific stadiums. I saw first hand in KC, how Livestrong Sporting Park took SKC from an also-ran franchise in the KC market, to rivaling the Royals for coverage by September. No way that happens if SKC was still playing in Arrowhead with 70,000 empty seats. Creating a great gameday atmosphere will help TV coverage, which will help expand the sport. I know people in KC who would never have gone to a game at Arrowhead, but can't wait to get back to a game at LSP.
 
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BGRed

Starter
15 Year Member
RR - I totally get what you're saying. But, as a newbie, I expected to switch from watching our Americans playing for the World Cup to watching them play for MLS teams. I didn't realize that most of them don't play in that league. So, if you're trying to make a connection to players beyond the World Cup focus and want to find some heroes for our young players to emulate, you almost are required to watch the Euro teams. I'm not sure that would make me a Euro snob -- just trying to communicate how we've been growing with the sport in a short two year span (enough that we now watch in Spanish on Gala or Univision).

We have started watching more MLS now that we understand the way the soccer world is structured. Our local community of approximately 300k has a minor league soccer team and we were impressed by the skills displayed even at that level (we beat a Chicago Fire developmental squad).

By the way, www.soccermanager.com has exposed me to a lot of international names in a fantasy league sort of way. I can pass along the two leagues that I'm in if anyone wants to jump in with me.
 

HuskerSoccer04

Recruit
5 Year Member
Actually getting more BPL games I disagree with....no offense meant but that is a 'Euro-Snob' argument....

And yes I follow QPR....but I lived in England for 8 years....my mom's brothers are almost all United fans....I guess what I'm trying to say is you have to get behind your local team in MLS and support them....in person and on TV....and FWIW the TV ratings have grown a great deal for MLS teams...NBC wanted in on the gig that tells you something right there.
Two things I disagree with. First, I wouldn't say I'm a "Euro-snob" because the team I'd choose to watch above any would be the National team regardless of gender. However, the reason I prefer to watch the Premier League over MLS is because of the quality of soccer being played. It is quite telling when the best players we have here, for the most part have struggled overseas.

Secondly, not everyone can have a "local team" when the nearest team is roughly 6 hours from home. That makes it fairly unrealistic to catch more than one game a season. I love being at MLS games. The atmosphere is awesome and the fans are great. And looking purely at television ratings, fans seem to prefer Premier League matches to MLS games on televison.

I am not going to argue that the MLS hasn't done well. It has had amazing growth when less than a decade ago it seemed destined to fail. However, my reason for being more interested in the Premier League is that as of right now, it offers a better product.
 

Red Reign

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
My problem with watching the Eruo leagues soley, as some American fans do, has nothing to do with American players....and yeah allot do play in Europe because of the $$....the bottom line is MLS gave them the platform to do so....with that being said MLS has to start paying the American stars more and keep them in the USA....they have done with Donovan....and should have done it with Holden and Demspey to name just a few......Holden would have stayed had they done so....on the otherhand the Eruo teams do pay big wages, but as I said are in huge debt and its going to come crashing down soon. So the MLS teams have to find a happy medium...without going into huge debt...the league has soem growing to do and things to get better at....like paying US stars the big $$ instead of aging Euro stars like Henry.....

MLS is a great league for families...my daughter started as 12 year old and is now 19.....huge RSL fan....and the team marketed itself very well and she got to know and befriend many of the players who get what it means to grow the sport in the USA....games from England can't do that....

Its up to all of us to try and grow the sport a little at a time....:)

Oh and I'm a huge believer in the national team coach being an American too....for so many reasons....

Great discussion...:)

RR - I totally get what you're saying. But, as a newbie, I expected to switch from watching our Americans playing for the World Cup to watching them play for MLS teams. I didn't realize that most of them don't play in that league. So, if you're trying to make a connection to players beyond the World Cup focus and want to find some heroes for our young players to emulate, you almost are required to watch the Euro teams. I'm not sure that would make me a Euro snob -- just trying to communicate how we've been growing with the sport in a short two year span (enough that we now watch in Spanish on Gala or Univision).

We have started watching more MLS now that we understand the way the soccer world is structured. Our local community of approximately 300k has a minor league soccer team and we were impressed by the skills displayed even at that level (we beat a Chicago Fire developmental squad).

By the way, www.soccermanager.com has exposed me to a lot of international names in a fantasy league sort of way. I can pass along the two leagues that I'm in if anyone wants to jump in with me.
 

HuskerSoccer04

Recruit
5 Year Member
My problem with watching the Eruo leagues soley, as some American fans do, has nothing to do with American players....and yeah allot do play in Europe because of the $$....the bottom line is MLS gave them the platform to do so....with that being said MLS has to start paying the American stars more and keep them in the USA....they have done with Donovan....and should have done it with Holden and Demspey to name just a few......Holden would have stayed had they done so....on the otherhand the Eruo teams do pay big wages, but as I said are in huge debt and its going to come crashing down soon. So the MLS teams have to find a happy medium...without going into huge debt...the league has soem growing to do and things to get better at....like paying US stars the big $$ instead of aging Euro stars like Henry.....

MLS is a great league for families...my daughter started as 12 year old and is now 19.....huge RSL fan....and the team marketed itself very well and she got to know and befriend many of the players who get what it means to grow the sport in the USA....games from England can't do that....

Its up to all of us to try and grow the sport a little at a time....:)

Oh and I'm a huge believer in the national team coach being an American too....for so many reasons....

Great discussion...:)
That to me is the biggest point of contention. Do we grow our league first or our national team first? If you want to grow the national team first, imo, you send them over to Europe to play against better players and to learn the European game which is different than the American game. If you want to grow the league first you have to pay them a higher salary and not just the top 10 players in the league. I think the average MLS player is criminally underpaid, well as underpaid as an athlete can be :). However, if you keep the top players in the league, you may stunt your national team growth.

Ironically, I think the crash of the european leagues would boost the perception of the MLS. However, I think the new FIFA fair play rules will save the leagues from crashing. MLS gambled on taking in Beckham and Henry. It took on the perception as the world's retirement league. I actually personally am glad that Dempsey is getting a chance to shine in England as is Holden.

I believe you when you say that about the MLS.. it is always awesome to get to connect to athletes who are so down to earth and just thankful to be playing the game they love.

Also, I think the national team NEEDS to have an American head coach. I don't feel like Klinnsman was the right guy to replace Bradley. Many pundits feel that Loew was the mastermind behind Germany's success. I do however think that America had plateaued a bit under Bradley.

So, RR what's your take. Do you grow the league first or grow the national team first?
 

Red Reign

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
I guess we disagree....I'm not saying its not okay to support a team in England...I do...QPR....but to totally dismiss our own domestic league we do so at our own peril....and allot of American fans do that...and use the reason you do.....and I find that sad.....

Best players have struggled overseas? Disagree again....Reyna, Charundalo, Bocanagria, Dempsey, McBride, Wynalda, Lalas, Bradley, Howard etc. etc. and I could go on if you would like....so for the most part that is incorrect....

Nor are the teams you support in Europe local either.....I've been to stadiums like Old Trafford so I get it about English football and grew up with it from a very early age....then again I'm half-English too...and funnily enough they are huge in believing you should support your local teams (from non-league to league)....they grow up with that passion..I support to two national teams too.....the USA and England.....with the USA being #1 if we play England......

The best true football in England is not played in the BPL but in Leageu 1, 2 and the Conference...I love matches at that level...playing the game for the true love of it...not the $$$...

Once again your argument about ratings is like trying to compare MLS with the NBA, NFL etc....at the same time those teams in the EPL are in huge debt...spending money they don't have on players who are over valued because they have lost sight about growing their own players...

Go and look at how MLS has grow in TV viewership has grow since 2005.....they were giving the product awy for free then both on-line and on TV.....and look at what they are making now....you might be really surprised.....:)

The only way MLS will offer a better product is support from folks like you....it won't grow if you don a BPL jersey and snub the MLS one....just sayin'.....


Two things I disagree with. First, I wouldn't say I'm a "Euro-snob" because the team I'd choose to watch above any would be the National team regardless of gender. However, the reason I prefer to watch the Premier League over MLS is because of the quality of soccer being played. It is quite telling when the best players we have here, for the most part have struggled overseas.

Secondly, not everyone can have a "local team" when the nearest team is roughly 6 hours from home. That makes it fairly unrealistic to catch more than one game a season. I love being at MLS games. The atmosphere is awesome and the fans are great. And looking purely at television ratings, fans seem to prefer Premier League matches to MLS games on televison.

I am not going to argue that the MLS hasn't done well. It has had amazing growth when less than a decade ago it seemed destined to fail. However, my reason for being more interested in the Premier League is that as of right now, it offers a better product.
 
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Red Reign

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
You do realize that the national team pretty much did not exist before MLS came into being...right? We grow both in my opinion....with an American as the head coach of the national team...I'm hard over on that too...we have to grow our own coaches too...and have some damn good ones like Jason Kries....

We don't need to play like Europeans...we need to have our own style....honestly those guy are over there for the $$$ and FWIW American players are looked down on and stereotyped....especially in England...heck I had English family who thought we were a joke before we played them in the WC......they know nothing abotu most fo our players and we quite surprised at how good we were....Dempsey should be playing for a top team he is that good....but he is an American and that is a fact in England....

Go read some of the Fulham message boards....Demps gets little or no respect...and he is their best player hands-down....

They see American players now as cheap alternatives too high cost players from Brazil and Italy as examples....

FIFA fair play rules...they will find a way around that....teams like Barcalona, United, Real Madrid call the shots not Plantini...as much as he would like too....short of a salrey cap some big clubs are going to go under....just look at Leeds and Forest who were huge clubs when I was a kid over in England....lucky to still be in the league even in the seocnd tier....

We argree on Klinsmann and Lowe...bad hire in my opinion and I have said so on here from day one....

You grow both.....and we have done that...and yeah it meant some players have to go to Europe for the $$.....now its time to keep our guys home and pay Dempsey not Henry....honestly neither he or Beckham have done much to grow the sport....kids like my daughter need a Donovan or a Dempsey to look up to playing in MLS....she is not a fan of paying the foreign players....pay our own....

MLS has a great buisness model....but now its time to take care of our own players....

Good discussion...:)


That to me is the biggest point of contention. Do we grow our league first or our national team first? If you want to grow the national team first, imo, you send them over to Europe to play against better players and to learn the European game which is different than the American game. If you want to grow the league first you have to pay them a higher salary and not just the top 10 players in the league. I think the average MLS player is criminally underpaid, well as underpaid as an athlete can be :). However, if you keep the top players in the league, you may stunt your national team growth.

Ironically, I think the crash of the european leagues would boost the perception of the MLS. However, I think the new FIFA fair play rules will save the leagues from crashing. MLS gambled on taking in Beckham and Henry. It took on the perception as the world's retirement league. I actually personally am glad that Dempsey is getting a chance to shine in England as is Holden.

I believe you when you say that about the MLS.. it is always awesome to get to connect to athletes who are so down to earth and just thankful to be playing the game they love.

Also, I think the national team NEEDS to have an American head coach. I don't feel like Klinnsman was the right guy to replace Bradley. Many pundits feel that Loew was the mastermind behind Germany's success. I do however think that America had plateaued a bit under Bradley.

So, RR what's your take. Do you grow the league first or grow the national team first?
 

BGRed

Starter
15 Year Member
One major factor - I can take my family of 4 to a Chicago Fire game, get good seats, 4 hot dogs, and 4 cokes for about $104. No way you'll get that at most other major sporting events.
 

BGRed

Starter
15 Year Member
....kids like my daughter need a Donovan or a Dempsey to look up to playing in MLS....
My daughter prefers to look up to Megan Rapinhoe, Abby Wambach, Lauren Cheney, and a host of other female players.

Alas, the pro women have no US league to play in. They couldn't even make a six team east coast league successful. :(
 
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