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World Soccer Talk

Has the soccer streaming bubble burst?

Ep. 1524

In this week's episode, we discuss whether the soccer streaming bubble has burst. We also dive into a breakdown of the ESPN, FOX, and TNT app and whether it’s a killer app. We discuss the Premier League’s domination of the soccer landscape in the United States, and how that may not be a good thing. Plus, when even the biggest story happens in a league but no one seems to care, what does that say? We also answer the questions, can LaLiga close the gap with the Premier League, and what do the leagues Serie A, EFL, and Ligue 1 do about their next rights deals in the USA?

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  • 1529. Why playoffs don't work in American soccer

    42:36
    Some argue that "American soccer should do American soccer in its own unique American way." What is the American way, anyway, when it comes to soccer? A long regular season of meaningless games followed by playoffs to crown a champion. We take a closer look at the pros and cons of the playoffs, how they came about, and why they don't work in American soccer. We also offer ideas for what a better system would be, and what the main reason is why playoffs exist in the first place.
  • 1528. Why aren't fans signing up for MLS Season Pass?

    01:09:10
    We jump into reading the feedback from soccer fans throughout the United States and our analysis and experience about why soccer fans are not signing up for MLS Season Pass, fifteen months after the service launched on Apple TV. Has MLS moving to Apple left the door wide-open for USL, NWSL, and EPL to increase their viewership on US TV? How can MLS compete against other streaming services that offer better soccer for less money? How fans of Liga MX are flipping to the Premier League, and how the rest of the leagues are left picking up the scraps?We also dive into MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s hypocritical comments when he spoke to World Soccer Talk about his reaction to foreign leagues wanting to play official league games in the United States. Plus, he shared with us about the possibilities of more soccer rights coming to Apple soon, and whether Major League Soccer would welcome that
  • 1527. MLS Season Pass pros and cons after year one

    01:21:26
    It's been more than one year since MLS Season Pass has launched, so it's perfect timing to identify the pros and cons of the streaming product as well as the market conditions that are impacting it. What has improved, what needs to improve and what issues are impacting the growth of Major League Soccer's revolutionary streaming product such as CBS Sports Golazo Network and other free services?We also discuss how many people tuned into the CBS network to watch the historic USL Championship game between Louisville City and Indy Eleven.Other topics debated include the perception of The Athletic as a mouthpiece for MLS. Plus we share your questions and feedback in the Listener Mailbag segment.
  • 1526. When Soccer Worlds Collide

    01:33:30
    This week's episode discusses Gio Reyna in the USA vs Jamaica game, what European title races are the most exciting, the reaction to the first round of the US Open Cup, ESPN's poor coverage of the FA Cup, The Athletic's cozy relationship with MLS, and a tribute to Joe Barone.There's more soccer on streaming now than ever before that it's sometimes hard to find common ground with fellow soccer fans. It often feels like two worlds colliding — the mainstream soccer games against niche leagues. Despite this, there's enough soccer for people to choose from. No matter which teams or leagues we're all watching, there are plenty of things in common to discuss.
  • 1525. US Soccer Federation bows down to MLS

    42:59
    Shown by its mismanagement of the US Open Cup, the US Soccer Federation has lost all authority as the governing body for the sport in this country. USSF has allowed MLS to become the most powerful soccer entity in this country. At the same time, the US soccer system is a mess as leagues compete against leagues. The chaos of the way that the US Open Cup debacle has been run shows how weak the leadership is under the US Soccer Federation.Also discussed in this episode is the new TV deals from USL and NWSL, and how those two leagues will be giving MLS a run for its money since the launch of MLS Season Pass.
  • 1523. MLS and Messi's Balancing Act

    01:08:58
    MLS tries to balance Messi's playing time and selling Apple TV subscriptions. We also discuss why FIFA chose New Jersey for the World Cup Final, how Arlington or Atlanta would have been a better choice, where the Women’s World Cup final could be if US/Mexico wins the bid, how Messi Mania is turning into a PR disaster for MLS and Inter Miami, Apple isn’t managing the expectations of fans by making everything about Messi, and why is MLS making so many sloppy PR mistakes lately, 
  • 1522. Jonathan Wilson interview about Bielsa, Klopp, Clough and USA

    32:19
    Jonathan Wilson joins World Soccer Talk to discuss his new soccer newsletter that’s written specifically for the U.S. audience, the evolution of soccer managers, his thoughts about Marcelo Bielsa and what he can accomplish at Uruguay, how writing for a U.S. audience is different, whether he feels American soccer fans are informed or not about the world’s game, news about an updated edition of his book about Brian Clough, how he would write his Sunderland book differently now in hindsight, why Brian Clough doesn’t have as much of a legacy as other English football managers, comparing Klopp to Guardiola, and how Clough’s upbringing had an impact on his role as a manager.The newsletter 'Soccer With Jonathan Wilson' is available on The Guardian's website.Jonathan Wilson writes about football for The Guardian and Observer, including a weekly column for The Observer. He has written 11 books, including Inverting the Pyramid, and is the editor of The Blizzard.
  • 1521. Shaun Harvey interview: EFL's new deal would be rocket fuel for Wrexham

    27:02
    In a fascinating interview with Wrexham Director of Football Shaun Harvey, the executive discusses the crossroads the EFL finds itself in ahead of a new international rights deal. iFollow is ending, so what does the future of streaming EFL games look like for international viewers? Harvey shares his insight regarding the available options and the lessons learned from launching iFollow. We also discuss how soccer fans in the United States can watch every Wrexham game, why so few Wrexham league games are shown on ESPN+, what changed to normalize streaming of games in the United Kingdom, where Wrexham stands in popularity of EFL clubs worldwide, why iFollow was started in the first place, and much more.