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Rivalry Day in MLS

By Simon Allen




Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson takes his seat before the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, Manchester, northwest England on March 10, 2013
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson takes his seat before the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, Manchester, northwest England on March 10, 2013

It looks like MLS has taken cues from the entertainment industry's network scheduling department. Get a great lead-in and viewers will proabbly stick around for the next block.

Problem is there are other matches on different networks that MLS will have to compete with. At 130PM on Fox Soccer Channel. Manchester United is matching up against Reading, so will the MLS/Soccer audience switch over from the DC/NY match to watch that? Or worse forego watching because Man U is on? The San Jose EarthQuakes Vs NY Redbulls match on ESPN2 garnered 179,000 viewers so that will be the magic number to beat for NBC.

In the middle of 10 straight hours of MLS coverage, Arlo White, Kyle Martino and Russ Thaler will rush back to Stamford, Conn and host “MLS Breakaway” from 5PM to 8PM. I'm not sure on the logistics of that but it sounds fascinating and the show itself is being compared to NFL Redzone. All eyes will be on the production value and content of this show. Will it be a BBC style football show? Or an upmarket version of “Soccer Talk Live”? I can almost imagine the hosts being stuck in traffic somewhere between covering the match and the studio while the production team scramble to get a live feed from the local Dunkin Doughnuts. Ratings Bonanza!