Saturday, May 19, 2007
GOL TV on FOX SOCCER CHANNEL?
Before you get all excited about a potential merger let me clarify what the title is referring to. Last night Miami FC played Minnesota Thunder live on FSC in front of friends and family at the Orange Bowl. (paid attendance was listed as under 1,000, far worse than the numbers Miami FC were drawing at Tropical Park Stadium.) But what was noteworthy about the match was that Miami FC's shirt sponsor GOL TV was featured prominently during an FSC telecast of the match. The two channels are rivals for the American soccer specific cable TV market. What is even more interesting is that USL has a contract exclusively with FSC for cable and satellite TV rights (but not broadband where Turner Sports has the rights) including the now weekly "Friday Night Football" package. However USL has allowed one of its marque clubs to wear a shirt sponsored by GOL TV. Despite the conflict it may create I am pleased USL has allowed this sponsorship. Despite the fact that FSC is a sublicensee of MLS rights and holds exclusive USL rights, both American pro soccer leagues are covered in a more aggressive fashion by GOL TV's weekly "American Soccer" program which has become an indispensible source of news and commentary for those of us trying to keep up with both MLS and USL. While FSC has game rights to both leagues they do little to promote either league outside of their telecasts and the new on location pre and post match shows for MLS hosted by Todd Grisham.