Been a while since we've last taken a look at soccer stadium construction around Major League
Soccer. It makes sense to start in Houston where the league announced that the new 22,000 seat
stadium will host its first Dynamo match on May 12, 2012.¬ The project is quickly progressing in
downtown Houston and is being touted as the first MLS stadium to open in a city's downtown
Baseball calls it Hot Stove season.¬ The NFL occupies months with draft talk, organized team
activities, mini-camps and training camps.¬ Whatever the name, off season events have become an
integral part of the modern sports business model.¬ Fans hungry for team and league news flock to
websites, mainstream media sources, sports radio and sports television for year round coverage of
their favorite sports.
Even though Major League Soccer has entered the off season, we plan to continue our weekly "Monday
After" post looking at business stories from the weekend and items that we didn't cover in the past
week.¬ We'll start with the newest player in soccer broadcasting, the over-the-air broadcast
network FOX, which is touting its dynamic 1.
Over the last year or so, we have discussed MLS' efforts to measure the value of its television
exposure through various local and national broadcasts.¬ Through the website criticalmention.com,
MLS tries to alert media¬ to the "value" of its presence on various television programs.¬ Since a
few weeks have passed since we last checked in on this metric, we thought providing a snapshot of
this metric of MLS media exposure.
Before we delve into the MLS off season, here are some business notes from MLS Cup and the
entire soccer weekend.¬ We'll start with the MLS Cup overnight rating, which was reported by SBJ
on Twitter as a .8.¬ To put that number in perspective, the .8 is double the 2010 rating but
slightly less than the 2009 rating.
As we do for a number of big soccer events every year, tonight Footiebusiness.com will offer a
business take on the broadcast of the MLS Cup Final.¬ Over the next couple of days, we'll look the
business ramifications of the new schedule, offer some thoughts on the new MLS Cup Final format and
discuss the expansion draft.
FOX is continuing its series of broadcast EPL matches this weekend with the Liverpool/Chelsea
game. The game will be broadcast on Fox Soccer re-broadcast on FOX either before or after NFL
football.¬ According to the press release, "CNN talk show host Piers Morgan is slated to join the
studio team, providing commentary and analysis for the Chelsea vs.
According to a story that broke in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday evening, the Galaxy are set
to announce a 10 year, $55 million deal with two new Time Warner Regional Sports networks to
televise Galaxy games.¬ The new networks (one in Spanish and the other in English) are fighting
for content in the crowded LA Sports market and this deal guarantees live programming from March to
Coaching changes aren't usually fodder for this website, but since the Revs have reached into
their broadcast booth when grabbing a coach for the 2012 version of the team, we can file this
under media coverage of the team.¬ Heaps retired after the 2009 season and spent two years paired
with Brad Feldman while providing color commentary.
For the first time in months, there we have concluded a weekend without a soccer match on United
States' soil.¬ Major League Soccer is counting down to the 2011 MLS Cup at the Home Depot Center
and ceded the weekend to International Soccer as FIFA claimed this weekend for World Cup
Qualifiers, Euro 2012 Qualifiers and a spate of International Friendlies.
On Thursday afternoon, Commissioner Don Garber conducted a wide ranging conference call with
more than 80 media members from around the world about the State of the League.¬ MLS smartly
scheduled this call the week before the lead-up to the MLS Cup Final so that the primary focus next
week will be the game.
Today's post starts in New England, where the Revs announced some rearranging of roles in the
front office.¬ Mike Burns and Brian Bilello are remaining with the club, but with new titles and
new responsibilities.¬ Bilello has been named President of the Club, with responsibilities on both
the player and business sides.
As power is starting to make its return to the Greater Hartford area, we thought it would make
sense to recognize the successful front office in Kansas City.¬ As we said last week, Sporting is
our PR Department of the year.¬ In 2010, we interviewed Rob Thomson, the team's VP of
Communications.¬ At the time of that interview, the Wizards were still the KC franchise and
Community America was still the team's home.
Still no power, so here is a quick survey of how the local newsapers are covering their team's
win or loss in Sunday's compelling Conference Final matchup.¬ We'll start in Utah, where RSL
continues to enjoy strong local coverage from both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. The
Trib sports section included¬ a hard news report on the 3-1 defeat as well as an array of stories
in the days leading up to the match.
Apologies for the shortage of posts over the last couple of days, but the 9th day of no power/no
heat in the Hartford area is making things a bit challenging.¬ Unfortunately, that has meant a
total inability to watch the MLS Cup Playoffs.¬ Nevertheless, here are a couple of quick thoughts
from the last weekend of games.
As we wrote last week, it is the time of year when votes are cast in Major League Soccer for
MVP, Defender of the Year, Coach of the Year and more. This is the third year that
Footiebusiness.com has been a voter, but the first year that a Team PR Award isn't among the
offerings.¬ However, whether official or not, we thought it worth casting our vote for the 2011
Hat tip to Dave Laidig for sending a couple of interesting business stories this way.¬ We'll
start with an extremely comprehensive look at Premier League viewing by SportingIntelligence.com.¬
This site typically focuses on American soccer stories, but this analysis is so detailed, that as
fans of the business side of the game, we think this breakdown is definitely worth the read.