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ESPN May Sell Major League Soccer Streams to Cord Cutters
by Karl Bode 01:10PM Tuesday May 27 2014
ESPN is contemplating selling a Major League Soccer live TV streaming service that would focus on cord cutters without a traditional cable TV subscription, claims Reuters. According to the report, the effort is being considered as an experiment that could help ESPN expand revenues outside of the traditional pay television system. Maybe. "You saw us buy MLS digital rights," states ESPN's John Skipper. "It was a clue, but we still don't know what we will do with that. That's a direct-to-consumer package we bought. We could do it just like it's done now through multichannel distributors or we can do something different with it to go direct to consumer," he said.

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Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

It would be a wise idea

Otherwise people will just find pirate streams. May as well at least offer people willing to pay a route to do so. Rather than souring them to piracy right out of the gate.
--
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dekerfman

join:2004-10-07
Weirton, WV

Re: It would be a wise idea

soccer, Boring

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: It would be a wise idea

Well, the MLS is certainly not the ultimate example of quality soccer. The European leagues and tournaments are far more interesting with much better quality of players. The MLS is practically a semi-pro league, and there just isn't enough history with rivalries to make it shine.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI

Re: It would be a wise idea

im sorry, but soccer players that are not from the US are the most whiny players I have ever seen. They get bumped wrong and they fall like they are dying.
Expand your moderator at work

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

2 recommendations

Re: It would be a wise idea

said by dekerfman:

soccer, Boring

Yeah, Major League Baseball is so much more exciting.

SteelerRaw

@8.28.150.x

Re: It would be a wise idea

said by jseymour:

said by dekerfman:

soccer, Boring

Yeah, Major League Baseball is so much more exciting.

Why yes, yes it is actually.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1
said by jseymour:

said by dekerfman:

soccer, Boring

Yeah, Major League Baseball is so much more exciting.

No doubt in my opinion baseball is a hell of a lot more exciting than soccer. At least in baseball you can’t end in a scoreless tie.

Soccer is boring to me for one simple reason. The field is too damn big with too much meaningless ‘action’ going on in the center of the field or near the sidelines. As a huge fan of hockey and box lacrosse, soccer is obviously very similar to those two sports, but at least in those two you have plenty of action and scoring opportunities. I don’t need a high scoring contest to be entertained, I’ve watched plenty of 1-0 or 2-1 NHL games and found them to be very entertaining, seen a lot of low scoring baseball games and that’s fine, football games that are Field Goal fests are another story, but just give me the close calls, the awesome saves and fancy footwork to create plenty of opportunities to make for an exciting game.

I’ll tune into some of the EPL matches on Saturday mornings and find them to be beyond boring. Occasionally I’ll watch a few minutes of an MLS match, caught most of a Portland/Seattle game last month that ended in a 4-4 tie. Lots of scoring, but very boring. Seattle came back from a 2 goal deficit to tie it up, but no edge of the seat moments.

I guess years ago the Rochester Rhinos USL team had the opportunity to buy into the MLS or something like that. If we ever did get an MLS team in Western NY I’d most definitely try harder to follow the sport. But as of right now I have no rooting interest in a game that is naturally boring. It didn’t take me long when I got into the PGA and UFC to find a few golfers and fighters that I liked and began to root for. NASCAR, NHL and NFL are just something I’ve always enjoyed, MLB has grown on me over the years and the NBA is hard for me to follow since my team is on the opposite side of the country. But in each sport I have my favorites and those I can’t stand. I like Tom Brady, Derick Jeter, Chris Paul, LeBron, Rowdy Ronda Rousey and want them to succeed, I hate Peyton Manning, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Cindy Crosby, Ron Artest, Nick Diaz, Miesha Tate and want them to fail. So it’s not just about rooting against teams, it’s specific individuals as well. I know of no soccer player that I could get into to find something I really like or really hate about that person to fuel my emotions enough to be into a sport.

So yeah, soccer is boring.
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Kommie
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said by dekerfman:

soccer, Boring

Have you ever watched baseball or golf? How are those "Sports" not boring.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: It would be a wise idea

said by Kommie:

Have you ever watched baseball or golf? How are those "Sports" not boring.

With my attention deficit issues, I can watch baseball, golf, or football easier than I can watch soccer, hockey, or basketball. It has little to do with boredom. All can be very exciting or dull depending on the situation. The biggest issue for me is that I can multitask much easier with baseball, golf, or football.

There just aren't as many breaks in the action with soccer and similar sports like there are with "turn-based" sports. It's hard to concentrate for the entire half, period, or between timeouts when any important action can take place during that entire time. With baseball, golf, or football, there are specific, known events when I need to pay attention, and these periods are typically very short-lived.

As a result, I've never been able to get as involved with soccer as I could with baseball. I can't just sit still and watch the TV for a 45-minute half. If I try and multitask while watching soccer, I lose interest in the match and become more absorbed in whatever other task I am doing. It's a personality thing, but I would not consider soccer to be boring. The international tournaments are very exciting, despite often ending in shootouts.

maartena
Elmo
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join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3
said by dekerfman:

soccer, Boring

Yeah, football is so much better..... they stop the clock every 2 friggin minutes.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

I believe what will happen...

is that the traditional cable companies will pay them more to NOT allow this to go out uncut.

Knowing this is probably the entire reason ESPN even said anything at all. The only thing they are trying to do is bring up the price carriers will pay to not have it streamed subscription free.

Probitas

@206.248.154.x

It might just work...

Assuming the cable companies allow it. They may point out that their existing agreements do not allow streaming of the program through alternate means. I don't doubt it's in the language. They do not want streaming to become the norm. Dinosaurs, trying to dodge a meteor bigger than the planet.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
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Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: It might just work...

Likely why they are doing it with MLS first, Soccer is not as big in the US yet so there is more working space with how its broadcast. The Stalwarts of US sport are firmly entrenched in old broadcast models, Old broadcast contracts, And politically connected.

MLS will allow whatever it takes for the masses to accept Soccer in the US, After all their goal is to one day have it be popular here and have the level of play of the EU/UK leagues.
--
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PToN
Premium
join:2001-10-04
Houston, TX

I would

I would deft. try if if they do give it a go. I stream all my games via rojadirecta and if they execute it well, it may be a game changer for the traditional methods.

silentlooker
Premium
join:2009-11-01

Cord cutting is a myth

Cord cutting is a myth, so not sure who will buy it.

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1

Re: Cord cutting is a myth

you mean like netflix ?

silentlooker
Premium
join:2009-11-01

Re: Cord cutting is a myth

said by DaveDude:

you mean like netflix ?

Very small percentage of people watch Netflix and most of them have curernt cable tv being you can't watch new stuff on Netflix.

maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3

Re: Cord cutting is a myth

said by silentlooker:

said by DaveDude:

you mean like netflix ?

Very small percentage of people watch Netflix and most of them have curernt cable tv being you can't watch new stuff on Netflix.

The percentage is growing. I am saving $1,000 a year by not having cable, and if I have to watch my series the next day (Hulu) or sometime after the season is over (Netflix), I will gladly take that AND my $1,000 please.

Most channels thrive on scripted "reality" these days anyways. All the good series get cancelled after 1 or 2 seasons.

Netflix actually made me discover how many good series there were in the last 10-15 years. I am watching "Eureka" from the beginning on Netflix.

I may be tempted to buy soccer streams. Besides NHL hockey (which I can already get online through CBC in Canada, thanks to SmartDNS), soccer is a sport that interests me.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

tshirt
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I know a number of people who would love this...

... but MLS already has MLS LIVE! which streams to a number of devices for $65 per season »live.mlssoccer.com/mlsmdl/.
Not sure what ESPN would add to this, doubt they'll be allowed/able to undercut the MLS pricing. (but might offer a high priced single game to travelers?)
aikenn

join:2002-10-25
Olathe, KS

Re: I know a number of people who would love this...

ESPN has now bought all digital rights. It is my current understanding that MLS Live won't exist next year.

tshirt
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Re: I know a number of people who would love this...

said by aikenn:

ESPN has now bought all digital rights. It is my current understanding that MLS Live won't exist next year.

So probably not cheaper, but will work with any ESPN device, maybe even via ON demand set top cable boxes? That would be an advantage to soccer fans seeing both local and out of market games on demand.

MLS has the potential to rival football even in the US at least in some markets.
The Sounders can draw 56,000 for a big game and regularly hit 30k with tickets up to $220 a seat (suites are more and always sold out)

BillySport

@68.114.89.x
ESPN bought "MLS LIVE" from MLS, for the next eight years.
It is now up to ESPN on how they may proceed from here.
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Oh sure

offer a sport most American don't care about.

tshirt
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Re: Oh sure


said by 78036364:

offer a sport most American don't care about

If it works the other sports will likely follow.
But as longs as MLB, NBA, and NFL can sell ads you won't see them going 100% subscription, because the broadcast networks are willing to spend way too much on sports.

MikeyReport

@68.114.89.x
I don't understand why you feel so insecure about a sport.
It's not a person... it's an event. And you seem to be hostile towards an event? Doesn't make sense.

Surely it can't be that you are jealous or envious about it, can it? Because we humans usually like to attack people/beliefs that we perceive to be superior to us/ours.

SteelerRaw

@8.28.150.x

Re: Oh sure

said by MikeyReport :

I don't understand why you feel so insecure about a sport.
It's not a person... it's an event. And you seem to be hostile towards an event? Doesn't make sense.

Surely it can't be that you are jealous or envious about it, can it? Because we humans usually like to attack people/beliefs that we perceive to be superior to us/ours.

Similarly, I don't understand why you feel the need to defend said sport. It doesn't make sense. After all, it's not a person, it's an event. To be honest 'Mikey', you seem to be the hostile one in your attack on Mr Guy's position. His statement seems to be factual based on a recent report:

»www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/···20140414

quote:
Two in three Americans do not plan to follow this year's tournament, according to an ongoing Reuters/Ipsos poll. Only 7 percent said they anticipated following it closely.
quote:
Eighty-six percent of Americans said they either know nothing or only a little bit about the World Cup, and more than two-thirds did not know Brazil is the 2014 host nation.

MickeyReport

@68.114.89.x

Re: Oh sure

Similarly, yes you do understand, because you were tempted to reply, no?

And besides, if "two in three Americans will not plan to follow something" means that one-in-three will follow it, which is really a big thing.
Because, if you like to quote numbers... only 1-in-3 Americans watch the SuperBowl... a huge 93% of Americans do not watch the NBA Finals... and a huge 96% of Americans do not watch the World Series.

Just sayin'...

SteelerRaw

@8.28.150.x

Re: Oh sure

said by MickeyReport :

Similarly, yes you do understand, because you were tempted to reply, no?

I'm sorry, but that makes no sense.

And besides, if "two in three Americans will not plan to follow something" means that one-in-three will follow it, which is really a big thing.

That's a glass half full way of looking at things. Regardless, it confirms Mr Guy's assertion that most Americans (as in >50%) simply do not care about soccer which was apparently your original point of consternation. Moreover, only 7% stated that they planned to follow the World Cup closely.

Because, if you like to quote numbers... only 1-in-3 Americans watch the SuperBowl... a huge 93% of Americans do not watch the NBA Finals... and a huge 96% of Americans do not watch the World Series.

Just sayin'...

What I also like to do is cite my source. You throwing random numbers out there means next to nothing without a corroborating source.

Just sayin'...

tlylework

@208.100.40.x

If they

If the cable companies allow this to go through consider this one of the first nails in the coffin. If ESPN were to do away with cable and just put their channels up on the internet they would probably make a lot more than they are with cable.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
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pay for soccer

pfft
markf

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MLS Live

MLS Live offers all the games for about $65 per season (cheaper if you order before the season starts).

If you already use an unblocking service, you can get all the games with no blackouts. Not sure what ESPN is doing that's different from what MLS already does.