MLS and NBC ; Marsch to Montreal & More

A busy Wednesday is highlighted by the announcement that Major League Soccer has signed a three year deal with NBC to broadcast games on the network and the soon to be re-named Versus.  NBC will air 2 MLS matches in 2012 while the newly coined NBC Sports Network will televise 38 regular season games and 3 playoff matches.  Each outlet will also carry 2 US Men's National Team games.

The move is a big development towards mainstream acknowledgement and popularity for MLS and should trigger a cascade of excuses and panic from the entrenched dinosaur crowd in local and national media.  One local radio host who claimed that "no one watches and nobody cares" about MLS may have a hard time digesting the fact that NBC felt enough people will watch to sink $10 million dollars per year into acquiring MLS programming.  Another particularly clueless sports columnist recently complained that ESPN was trying to "shove soccer down our throats".  His next anti-soccer rant will seem even more outdated and nonsensical.

ESPN will continue to broadcast MLS games through 2014.  The NBC and ESPN deals both expire after that season setting up a battle for MLS television rights if the next three seasons are handled correctly.  Fox Soccer Channel reportedly made a competitive offer to retain the rights but MLS felt the NBC offer was more attractive in terms of dollars and potential audience.

Marsch Goes North

The Montreal Impact announced that former Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch will take the reins of the 2012 MLS expansion club as it's head coach.  Marsch, who recently served as an assistant coach under Bob Bradley and the USMNT should have been considered a top candidate to coach the Fire in 2012.

Injury Report

The mid week injury report ahead of Saturday night's match in New York has been released.  Recent signing and DP goalkeeper Frank Rost is out of action this weekend and the Red Bulls will likely go with Bouna Condoul again.

CHICAGO FIRE -- OUT: DF Mike Banner (R knee meniscectomy); MF Marko Maric (L posterior capsulitis); DF Steven Kinney (L groin strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Cory Gibbs (L groin strain); FW Diego Chaves (R knee pain); FW Gabriel Ferrari (R ankle sprain)

NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis); MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); GK Frank Rost (R quadriceps tear); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jan Gunnar Solli (R quadriceps strain)


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  • I thought today was Wednesday?

  • In reply to Adam25: are correct

    change made

  • I'm thrilled about the NBC deal. 1. It means I no longer have any reason why I would watch Fox television programming. 2. The elevator said 200,000 people have left cable and satellite paid TV recently, and the NBC deal means that they, like me, will be able to catch a little MLS anyway.

    Bummed about not getting Jesse Marsch for the Fire. We need a coach and he knows the organization and he's from Racine. It seems like it would have potentially been successful all around. So how many former players from the 1998 Fire are coaches now? Nowak, Klopas, Soehn, Marsch are all MLS head coaches, and Brown is an assistant with RSL. Lubos Kubik was an assistant coach with the Nats (I don't know where he is now). I'm sure I'm missing one or more of them.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    This season is causing me to have coversations with elevators too. ;)

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    It's worth noting that of those, only Nowak has been successful. Of course, that's only a sample of three guys. Though it's probably equally meaningful that neither Klopas nor Soehn signed on to be coaches initially. We'll have to see what Marsch and Brown end up doing. It's impossible to say right now but I'm guessing Montreal will really struggle next year as most expansion teams have. That won't necessarily be Marsch's fault (it could be though) and it could lose him his spot like what happened to Thordardson in Vancouver (who I thought was a good coach, even though his team was sucking it up).

  • Random off topic thought, but it'd be cool if each entry on your "Schedule and Results" page had a link to your match recap and player ratings.

  • In reply to Mateu:

    That's a good idea.....I'll see if I can get that done.

  • Yep , the great thing about NBC getting this is everytime NBC takes a sport , the sport really soars in the ratings,
    The NBA was in big trouble when CBS carried the games and most of the time they did the games on tape delay, NBC takes the NBA in 1991 and that was the start of a giant era for the NBA.
    The same thing has happened with the NHL once NBC got it.
    The same thing is going to happen with MLS , NBC seems to know how to promote the leagues they carry.
    Another great thing is Dan Bernstien does not have a leg to stand on now unless he wants to make a fool out of himself.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    I'm not counting on a huge boost for MLS as a result of the NBC deal... but I think the time has come for me to lobby for cable or dish TV.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I think it will be a huge boost for two reasons.
    1. NBC does a better job of cross promoting their sports properties than any other network....including ESPN.

    2. MLS has shrewdly signed tv deals with two networks that both expire in 2014. This sets up a battle for World Cup rights between two media giants currently carrying MLS soccer. SUM (the marketing arm of MLS) can hold out for the best deal on the WC rights if a better deal for MLS rights is presented in tandem with the next world cup. If it works the new deal will provide incredible exposure and even more importantly $$$$ funneled into MLS.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    It most ceratinly will be a big boost for all of the reasons I gave.

  • cool news about NBC

    now i'm hoping FSC fills the void with either bundesliga or eredivisie matches :)

  • GR,

    Any truth that Freddy Adu going to Chivas US?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Sounds like it's in the works. Talks are supposed to resume this morning.

    The MLS international transfer window closes August 14.

  • Great time to make some major changes with the Fire. Who is with me? Since playoffs are out of the questions except mathematically, who believes that this Fire team will win 6 in a row playing the toughest teams in MLS. Also while a new coaching staff is in the cards for next year, why not do it now! Klopas and Percovic are dead men walking. We all know it. We should use the balance of the season to get head start on next year. Give the youngsters playtime and trade veterans that will most likety not be with team next year ie Pappa and grab the best coach available in Bob Bradly before he signs elsewhere. Klopas do whats right for franchise just once not what good for just you. Tired of watching an uninspired team play like individuals when we can build for the future. This team is not just minor tweeks away but top down overhaul is needed. Rather lose with fresh faces than tread water with these pre madonnas.

  • In reply to bigdog:

    i dont think its quite as bad as all that, they've got some decent young players that will become pretty solid MLS players. i think its more a matter of getting these guys confidence and teamwork on track.

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