Major League Soccer’s television rights deal with Fox Soccer Channel is up for renegotiation and executives want $20 million per season, an increase of almost seven times the previous deal. If struck, the deal would be a tremendous boon to MLS, which is proving financially viable as it continues to invest in infrastructure and expansion. Sports leagues, anyone will tell you, make their money on television rights.
But will FSC bite? That’s the ($20) million dollar question.
MLS seems to be asking a lot. Their Saturday night broadcasts on FSC drew just 53,000 viewers while ESPN’s audience fell 12.3 percent from the previous season. (Admittedly, ESPN has done a lot to promote the league, although Bill Simmons offered a plan to improve ratings.)
But MLS does have some leverage. Read more