Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Outside of the Inauguration, it's a pretty slow news day, which probably explains why I'm posting on the MLS. ESPN has decided to drop it's Thursday, Major League Soccer game of the week, and will be moving to a rotating set of days throughout the week. Via Sports Business Journal....
After two years of anemic ratings that started low and finished lower, ESPN executives decided to cancel the league’s regular Thursday night telecast on ESPN2 this season. In its place, ESPN2 will carry an MLS game of the week, which will air on four different nights during the season. The weekly matches will occur on Thursdays (10 times), Saturdays (eight times), Wednesdays (six times) and Fridays (three times).This is news is another sobering hit that alludes to Soccer never really being able to gain solid footing in the U.S. It's a shame too because of the popularity of the Sport throughout the rest of the World.
“We didn’t see the kind of ratings climb we’d like to, so we’re trying something different,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN vice president of programming.
The decision to cancel the regular Thursday night game marks a stunning turnaround for a league that two years ago believed it was creating destination programming that would increase interest in MLS. But even the 2007 arrival of David Beckham couldn’t boost MLS ratings.
ESPN booting MLS from its Thursday slot (Sports Business Journal)