World Soccer Talk
Video Killed The Podcast Star
In this week’s episode, we discuss why NBC Sports needs to step up the quality of its Premier League coverage, our thoughts on the new Messi documentary series from Apple, the trials and tribulations of Fantasy Premier League, and NWSL’s new TV deal. Plus we discuss:
- Technical issues streaming games across Peacock, Paramount+ and ESPN+
- Which soccer broadcaster is the most unformulaic
- Could CBS Sports do a better job at broadcasting the Premier League to viewers in the USA?
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1525. US Soccer Federation bows down to MLS42:59Shown 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.
1524. Has the soccer streaming bubble burst?01:10:45In 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?
1523. MLS and Messi's Balancing Act01:08:58MLS 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 USA32:19Jonathan 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 Wrexham27:02In 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.
How can leagues catch the Premier League in the USA?01:07:23We can reveal that the Premier League has become the most popular soccer league in the United States for the first time, but how can the competing leagues fight back so they're still contenders? At the same time, we discuss why MLS fans will have to fork out more in 2024 to see the new Drive to Survive-like docuseries, how the new series may or may not be more successful than the docuseries that MLS has done in the past, what type of MLS subject material would drive interest for soccer fans, how MLS believes it can be more successful worldwide in 2024, how the timing of the MLS deal with Box to Box Productions may be too late. Plus we dive into your feedback about MLS' decision to quit the US Open Cup, and their subsequent U-turn.
1519. MLS rips American soccer apart by quitting US Open Cup01:07:14Major League Soccer’s cold and calculated decision to quit the US Open Cup has had a dramatic impact on the credibility of the USA’s top-flight league. Many hardcore fans of Major League Soccer have criticized the league for its lack of respect for American soccer. As usual, we take a deep dive into the topic. We discuss whether US Open Cup can survive without MLS if NFL-owned MLS teams purposely want to hold soccer’s growth back in this country, and how Major League Soccer’s target demographic is a key driver in these decisions.Subsequently, what role has MLS rightsholder Apple had with team owners making this decision? Also, what do soccer fans need to do to get MLS to overturn its decision? Plus we discuss how US Open Cup plans on marketing the competition differently in 2024. Last but not least, is US Soccer capable of removing Major League Soccer’s D1 sanctioning?
1518. MLS' plan to rule all of US pro soccer59:51Do you want MLS to rule all of professional club soccer in the United States? It’s heading that way. We dissect what MLS Commissioner Don Garber says on the topic, as well as what it means for soccer fans (and clubs) across the United States. We also share our analysis of the viewership numbers for the 2023 MLS Cup Final between Columbus Crew and LAFC, as well as discuss the risk that MLS admits it’s taking with MLS Season Pass. Last but not least, we explain why Kartik is in Jacksonville, and the new chapter of the SoccerWarz, as well as your excellent comments and feedback in the Listener Mailbag segment.
1517. Is soccer growing or shrinking in the USA?01:24:02A deep dive into whether the popularity of soccer is growing or shrinking in the United States at the same time that the English Premier League has cemented its place as THE soccer league in this country. What can LaLiga, MLS, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga do to catch up with the Premier League? We also discuss how the Premier League is close to surpassing the popularity of the most popular soccer league on US television.Why hasn’t soccer been able to make an impact on the mainstream? We pinpoint what is missing to make the sport more popular in this country, and what that means for the future of soccer in the United States with the 2026 World Cup around the corner.In addition to these topics, we share what the consensus is about Apple’s deal with Major League Soccer from key executives in the sport at the Soccerex Miami conference.As the Premier League continues to grow in popularity, does this hurt or help the popularity of the different national teams among soccer fans in the United States?