View Full Version : MLS in 'eight-figure deal' for foreign TV rights

12-22-2008, 07:46 PM
Decent news from the MLS head office re: TV rights.

Major League Soccer has sold the international TV rights to its games to sports media company MP & Silva through 2013. Sports Business Journal reports that the deal involves "an eight-figure agreement."
The TV deal is part of "a long-term, broad partnership with" MLS and includes "the exclusive rights to all MLS games, tournaments and events, including MLS regular season, MLS Cup Playoffs, MLS Cup, and the international competitions SuperLiga, InterLiga and Pan-Pacific Championship."
Doug Quinn, the president of MLS' marketing arm Soccer United Marketing, called it "an important partnership" for the league and its clubs, and said MLS would take advantage of MP & Silva's "international expertise in operating and commercializing soccer leagues and clubs." Through the deal, MLS aimed "to expand our global distribution and penetrate strategic markets. Furthermore, our increased television rights revenues will help to ensure long-term growth for MLS."
MP & Silva's President Riccardo Silva said his comapmy would "aim to strengthen the league's international profile, popularity and visibility, and help MLS extend its reach to new emerging markets, including Asia-Pacific." -- Soccer America (http://www.socceramerica.com/)


12-22-2008, 09:43 PM
Anyone know if this is a good partnership?

James Oliphant
12-23-2008, 12:53 AM
It's an "eight-figure" revenue stream that wasn't open to them before, so I'd say yes.

Good find, Chevy...and I managed to sneak it in my latest column (http://gotorontofc.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=860). With finder's credit, of course. :)

12-23-2008, 11:14 AM
If this is a good as it sounds, then it's exactly what a league requires to grow.
More marketing, bigger audience, means more money for better players and the league prospers.
Though, with more exposure internationally, perhaps it would be wise to reconfigure the league into a more internationally recognised format.
I don't mean the whole 'relegation' argument... but single table, proper league champ, and a proper MLS Cup.

12-23-2008, 11:31 AM
They better sign this deal fast before Beckham makes his loan to AC Milan permanent.

12-23-2008, 11:31 AM
They better sign this deal fast before Beckham makes his loan to AC Milan permanent.


12-23-2008, 09:16 PM
so Garber pretty much has all rights deals in place now correct? I guess he's getting everything set up for the player CBA negotiations. He knows what he's got now for some time with ESPN and the rest.

TFC Cityboy
12-23-2008, 09:27 PM
hopefully the 1st 2 figures of the eight are not zeros

12-23-2008, 09:30 PM
another thing: I was just reading the MP & Silva press release and they have an office in Miami.... Other than that I don't see any connection between them and the investors of the Barca Miami bid, but ya never know! behind the scenes there could be a connection.

12-23-2008, 09:54 PM
Why would anyone outside of North America choose to watch this league? Foreign viewers are often glory hunters, and there's nothing glorious about Major League Soccer.

Whatever, good on MLS, hopefully this means the quality improves.

12-23-2008, 09:58 PM
it could just be cheap programming. one thing I've learned about the TV business is that it's not about what people necessarily want; it's about the price of the show and its ability to attract enough viewers at a reasonable cost.

If they can give some sports channel in Buttfuck Nowhere a reasonably priced game of the week or whatever, it'll attract enough people to be worth the expense for the station -- they'll get a decent ad revenue return on it.. That's the great thing about repackaging content for foreign countries. Americans have been amazing at doing this -- cover the production costs through viewings in the home country; then sell abroad for almost 100% profit cuz it's already paid for by the viewers back home. That way you might undercut the cost of equivalent soccer programming in the foreign country or at least provide reasonable content for a low-end broadcaster. MLS and SUM wouldn't be expecting to grab huge audiences or steal viewers from the Premier league, but maybe it'll find its place in the secondary tier.

12-24-2008, 01:20 AM
Yep in the UK you can catch the Blue Jays on over the air free TV at 3am some mornings... Add this up and multiply by the number of countries times multiple years you get to some real money. Not sure about 8 figures but it's real revenue...