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MLS vs. NHL Going Forward?

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03-02-2013, 01:27 PM
  #451
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Originally Posted by patnyrnyg View Post
Surprised about Brazil, considering the success they have had in the World Cup. Do their best players play elsewhere or is it just a case where they play in very small stadiums?

The other thing to consider about comparing attendance across leagues is population. Aside from China, the US has A LOT more people than those countries and their teams are spread out more than those countries.
Almost all of Brazil's best players are based in Europe. On top of that, the Brazilian league is apparently quite disorganized, which might explain the relatively low attendance average.

Re: your second point, in barely any other country does soccer have the same competition as in the U.S. Yeah the U.S. has a big population - it also has myriad entertainment options, including 4 pro sports leagues that are bigger than MLS and various college leagues that are bigger. In some cities MLS is the 6th most popular game in town, and the league is still averaging close to 19K. That's amazing when you consider the competition.

On top of that, the geographic expanse argument is relativized by the fact that it is difficult in the U.S. to travel to away games. In places like England and Germany, you get probably an average of 1,000 away fans at each game simply due to the geographic proximity. I'd say the U.S.'s vast area is a disadvantage rather than an advantage in terms of attendance.

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03-02-2013, 01:30 PM
  #452
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The MLS is nicely competitive, its a league that doesn't have everyone in the country rooting for one of two teams, like in Spain, or one of three teams like in Portugal.

Attendance wise I think they are about the same per game, but the big difference is TV viewership. MLS is not doing well in TV ratings. Surprisingly, because one of my favorites aspects of soccer as a sport is that it doesn't have a million commercial breaks like hockey, football, baseball.

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03-02-2013, 02:35 PM
  #453
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Originally Posted by patnyrnyg View Post
Surprised about Brazil, considering the success they have had in the World Cup. Do their best players play elsewhere or is it just a case where they play in very small stadiums?

The other thing to consider about comparing attendance across leagues is population. Aside from China, the US has A LOT more people than those countries and their teams are spread out more than those countries.
Brazilian clubs generally play in larger stadiums (20,000+), but there are also several teams in a given city, so loyalties tend to be more divided. If all three clubs in Belo Horizonte, for example, wanted to unite into a single club, they could fill Minerao (but there would probably be major off-field hiccups resulting from it).

As a counterpoint to the population argument, the United States is also the biggest consumer market for sports in the world. MLS has a much more competitive market to establish itself in than most of the rest of the world, and it's competing for the same audience as at least one other major league (more in many cases). There is just enough overlap between the seasons of the Big Four and MLS to cause problems, but MLS has done okay in its markets.


Locally, MLS is thriving in a lot of its markets, but it's having a really hard time building a national audience. Building a strong national following will probably require a few big players in their primes, rather than guys later in their careers like Beckham and Henry. I suspect those guys are probably more likely to come from Latin America than Europe, though, for whatever difference that might make.

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03-02-2013, 03:15 PM
  #454
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EPL generated $83M / year in their last contract for US games. That's pretty high even the time difference means no primetime games.

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03-02-2013, 08:29 PM
  #455
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Yeah, saturday and sunday morning. I seriously doubt the US networks are paying big money for the rights nor are they generating huge ratings. Secondly, I was referring to US-based pro leagues.
The new EPL deal with NBC is worth $80 million a year so yeah, no

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03-02-2013, 10:16 PM
  #456
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Interesting poll result the Coyotes broadcast just showed. The viewers favorite championship tournament besides the Stanley Cup: 48% World Cup soccer, 30% March Madness, 22% Nascar, 0% World baseball classic.

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03-02-2013, 11:36 PM
  #457
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I laugh at the World Baseball Classic getting 0%. Good idea but the execution of the idea is a joke. Pretty surprised March Madness didn't win.

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03-03-2013, 01:47 AM
  #458
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Interesting poll result the Coyotes broadcast just showed. The viewers favorite championship tournament besides the Stanley Cup: 48% World Cup soccer, 30% March Madness, 22% Nascar, 0% World baseball classic.
Did they not include the Super Bowl,World Series, and NBA Playoffs???

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03-03-2013, 06:08 AM
  #459
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Interesting poll result the Coyotes broadcast just showed. The viewers favorite championship tournament besides the Stanley Cup: 48% World Cup soccer, 30% March Madness, 22% Nascar, 0% World baseball classic.
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Did they not include the Super Bowl,World Series, and NBA Playoffs???
If they did not include those tournaments, it would be what we call in statistics, a biased or unfair survey.

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03-03-2013, 06:09 AM
  #460
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The new EPL deal with NBC is worth $80 million a year so yeah, no
That surprises me.

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03-03-2013, 09:07 AM
  #461
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That surprises me.
It shouldn't though. The United States is still an immigrant country. What you see on ESPN doesn't accurately represent the real interests of people living here.

Euro 2012 averaged over a million viewers over 30 games. That's a tournament with no American team and not even an American player, and certainly not played during prime time. Yet a million people in this country watched every game. As I said before, that's why MLS is destined to succeed on a large scale. Americans already watch soccer. When they actually start watching MLS, look out.

Copa America will be hosted in the USA I think in 2016. Sellouts all around, watch.


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03-03-2013, 10:22 AM
  #462
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Copa America will be hosted in the USA I think in 2016. Sellouts all around, watch.
Seriously? Woah, I hadn't heard that. Awesome.

They should scrap the Gold Cup and just do Copa America every four years featuring all teams in the Western hemisphere. Make it rival the Euros. Although I suppose Sepp Bladder would find some way to oppose it.

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03-03-2013, 10:30 AM
  #463
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Seriously? Woah, I hadn't hear that. Awesome.

They should scrap the Gold Cup and just do Copa America every four years featuring all teams in the Western hemisphere. Make it rival the Euros. Although I suppose Sepp Bladder would find some way to oppose it.
Yep, I'm already planning to be there for games in DC and/or Atlanta. No intentions of heading to the next few World Cups sadly, though Brazil would be amazing.

And agreed entirely. Imagine a 16 team tournament with Copa America + the best of concacaf, there would some absolutely great games.

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03-03-2013, 10:46 AM
  #464
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And agreed entirely. Imagine a 16 team tournament with Copa America + the best of concacaf, there would some absolutely great games.
Would also relieve some of the pressure on South America to host the tournaments I would guess. I assume Conmebol would be relieved to have Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to pick up the slack if necessary.

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03-03-2013, 11:04 AM
  #465
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Originally Posted by GirouxGiroux View Post
It shouldn't though. The United States is still an immigrant country. What you see on ESPN doesn't accurately represent the real interests of people living here.

Euro 2012 averaged over a million viewers over 30 games. That's a tournament with no American team and not even an American player, and certainly not played during prime time. Yet a million people in this country watched every game. As I said before, that's why MLS is destined to succeed on a large scale. Americans already watch soccer. When they actually start watching MLS, look out.
Strongly disagree with all of this.

The Premier League hasn't become popular because 'it's an immigrant country'. It is was, why wasn't it on TV 15-20 years ago. It's become popular because of THE INTERNET. The easy access to information has created this global culture we have today.

Now, just because people are watching soccer doesn't mean they'll ever want to watch what is essentially 'Single A' soccer. People want to watch the best in the world.

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03-03-2013, 11:11 AM
  #466
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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
Seriously? Woah, I hadn't heard that. Awesome.

They should scrap the Gold Cup and just do Copa America every four years featuring all teams in the Western hemisphere. Make it rival the Euros. Although I suppose Sepp Bladder would find some way to oppose it.
Can't scrap the Gold Cup. The federation requires a championship. Furthermore, the CONCACAF teams are at a massive disadvantage in Copa America, because club teams are not required to release players for it, because it is not the federations championship.

The 2016 Copa in the US is not completely confirmed last I heard.

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03-03-2013, 11:20 AM
  #467
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Now, just because people are watching soccer doesn't mean they'll ever want to watch what is essentially 'Single A' soccer. People want to watch the best in the world.
Nope... they want to glory hunt for a handful of European clubs, as I mentioned already. If EPL fans in the U.S. were really experts on high-quality soccer, they wouldn't show up in masses to watch meaningless friendlies involving ManU's pre-season B team while ignoring both lesser Premiership teams and MLS.

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03-03-2013, 11:22 AM
  #468
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The 2016 Copa America probably won't be played here. It has to get past FIFA and that seems unlikely.

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03-03-2013, 11:24 AM
  #469
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Can't scrap the Gold Cup. The federation requires a championship. Furthermore, the CONCACAF teams are at a massive disadvantage in Copa America, because club teams are not required to release players for it, because it is not the federations championship.
I don't really see how that would be a problem, as the tournament is held during the summer. The MLS teams would almost certainly release their players for the tournament if the U.S. was participating, no? What other leagues would present a problem?

Fine, then do the Gold Cup in an off-year and send a B team to it.

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03-03-2013, 12:23 PM
  #470
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The "people want the best" logic is partially valid but there are some flaws that have to be acknowledged up front. To wit:

1. Teams like Liverpool and Arsenal are continually better supported than better and more accomplished sides like Barcelona and Baeryn, suggesting that the ascent of the EPL can't be attributed strictly to either being the best or front running, but to a combination of both along with linguistic and cultural factors. Munich is always going to be more foreign to the average American than London, and that gives the EPL a greater degree of accessibility.

2. The EPL is dwarfed in terms of popularity by Liga MX, a vastly inferior league. This suggests that quality is less of a priority within the Hispanic population.

3. MLS offers something neither of those leagues can: live soccer. As interest grows and as Mexican immigrants develop deeper roots in their adopted homes, that will become an increasingly big attraction. You can be the biggest Chelsea fan in the world, but unless you're sitting on a good chunk of change, you're never going to see them play a meaningful game in person. Right now, that won't grate as much but eventually that attraction will win people over.

The bigger issue facing MLS, in my view, is that there's no incentive for people outside of their local markets to watch games on TV. Columbus is, if anything, more alien to me than London. Without the draw of live games, I have no incentive to slum it

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03-03-2013, 12:27 PM
  #471
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The 2016 Copa America probably won't be played here. It has to get past FIFA and that seems unlikely.
IIRC the way they were trying to work around that is by having the 2016 Copa America as a special 100th anniversary tournament. The 2015 Copa winner would still be the team representing South America in the confed cup in 2017.

And I'm much the same way as you describe as your post above Brodie. I go to a few games for the local NASL team each season, and don't really follow an MLS team, despite the fact that MLS is a superior product by a good margin. What MLS is going to struggle with for a little while is that there really aren't any built in ties to people outside of the immediate area. You won't find too many, say, DC United fans in my area unless they're from the DC area themselves and have just moved here within the last decade give or take. This despite the fact that DC is by far the closest MLS club to Raleigh and have had some success over their MLS lifetime. I would have an easier time following say Fullham then I do DC, and the former is a far more affordable game for me to take in and just a few hours up I-95


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03-03-2013, 12:40 PM
  #472
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I don't really see how that would be a problem, as the tournament is held during the summer. The MLS teams would almost certainly release their players for the tournament if the U.S. was participating, no? What other leagues would present a problem?

Fine, then do the Gold Cup in an off-year and send a B team to it.
US will continue to send their A team to the Gold Cup that qualifies them for the Confederations Cup, and the developmental squad to the 'off year' Gold Cup (like 2013's). Anything else makes little sense.

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03-03-2013, 01:04 PM
  #473
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Strongly disagree with all of this.

The Premier League hasn't become popular because 'it's an immigrant country'. It is was, why wasn't it on TV 15-20 years ago. It's become popular because of THE INTERNET. The easy access to information has created this global culture we have today.

Now, just because people are watching soccer doesn't mean they'll ever want to watch what is essentially 'Single A' soccer. People want to watch the best in the world.
I didn't say anything about the Premier League. I was talking about Euro 2012. The final, the most-watched game, was played by Spain and Italy. Hardly an exhibition of players from English clubs.

Sure, the internet and the modern interconnectivity of the world has helped soccer in the US. But the US is an immigrant country, you can't argue that. In 2010, there were almost 40 million foreign-born people in the US. Add in Americans who are children and grandchildren of immigrants, and you get the picture. And most immigrants come from countries that love soccer.

I think soccer fandom in America is kind of like this video:



- At first, everyone was like "lol, look at soccer over there. Soccer looks like an idiot."
- Then the second guy goes over and everyone is like "Haha, ok, soccer. You're still weird, but we can see you're having a good time."
- Then three more guys start dancing and the crowd starts thinking "****, call me crazy, that looks like it could be fun."
- Then it becomes contagious and everyone goes for it.

Right now, we're still on the second step. But the wheels are in motion.

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03-03-2013, 04:55 PM
  #474
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It shouldn't though. The United States is still an immigrant country. What you see on ESPN doesn't accurately represent the real interests of people living here.

Euro 2012 averaged over a million viewers over 30 games. That's a tournament with no American team and not even an American player, and certainly not played during prime time. Yet a million people in this country watched every game. As I said before, that's why MLS is destined to succeed on a large scale. Americans already watch soccer. When they actually start watching MLS, look out.

Copa America will be hosted in the USA I think in 2016. Sellouts all around, watch.
1 million people, or you mean less than 0.5% of the population? Success, is a relative term. Success where the owners are making money?

Success in that they are considered a major sport/league in the US? Don't think it happens in our lifetimes. Watching 1 game a week on a saturday/sunday morning when there are no other live games on is a lot different than following a league on a regular basis. I often watch whatever soccer game is on saturday/sunday morning on ESPN if I am home. Mainly because there is nothing else on besides infomercials and highlight shows which repeat every 1/2 hour for 4 or 5 hours in the morning.

It is the same argument I have with people when they say NASCAR, Golf, or tennis get huge ratings compared to nhl games. In those sports, you have ALL the best pros participating in the same event. However, if Nascar teams had dual meets all over the country their ratings would be nothing. Tennis tried to create a league with that World Team Tennis and it failed miserably.


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03-03-2013, 04:58 PM
  #475
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Would also relieve some of the pressure on South America to host the tournaments I would guess. I assume Conmebol would be relieved to have Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to pick up the slack if necessary.
eh hehehehehehehehehe. Don't watch much CONCACAF international soccer I take it. The only good thing about the Canadian MNT lately has been their centennial kits.

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