World Soccer Talk
Where does MLS Season Pass go from here?
This week, Apple finally broke its silence about MLS Season Pass. In its attempts to get soccer fans (and journalists) off Apple's backs who are asking probing questions about how the service is doing, the tech giant refused to answer any questions. In doing so, it's sending a wrong message because people are now wondering why Apple (and MLS) are being so secretive. What do they have to hide?
We share more details about what was discussed, what industry insiders are telling us, examples of viewing numbers shared by other streaming services, and where MLS Season Pass goes from here. We also answer your questions about promotion and relegation, and where France's Ligue 1 stands in the global soccer world.
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1510. Does Apple want to change soccer for the worse?52:09On this week’s episode, we discuss the return of Welcome to Wrexham, audio problems for Premier League and Bundesliga games, whether Apple’s plans for soccer are a good move or not, and where NWSL rights could go next season after this year's deal ends.In the Listener Mailbag segment, we answer your questions and feedback including why we feel business owners should stay clear of disrespecting the sport of soccer, why Peacock doesn't show every single Premier League game, Saudi Arabia versus MLS, the pros and cons of leagues having games streamed via Apple TV, and much more.
Welcome to Wrexham, season 2: Humphrey Ker interview16:16Our exclusive interview with Wrexham AFC Club Executive Director Humphrey Ker shines a light on several fascinating topics involving the global phenomenon that is Wrexham Association Football Club. Ker, who is responsible for turning Rob McElhenney into a soccer fan and ultimately into becoming co-owner of Wrexham alongside Ryan Reynolds, answers questions about who is responsible for creating the magic of Welcome to Wrexham (season 2 launched September 12, 2023 on FX).Take a journey with us through Welcome to Wrexham season 2 as Ker discusses whether the success of the series in the US surprised him, the decision behind not including spoilers in season two, his experiences running into people from around the world outside the Racecourse Ground, and what Wrexham's global plans are.
1508. Messi League Soccer: Pros and cons of his success in USA01:03:18In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of Messi’s magical run in Major League Soccer, as well as catching listeners up on where we’ve been. That's just the start of the conversation as we also chat about the wonders of British motorway service stations, whether the Messi effect has been able to impact mainstream media, what the Messi effect is like in the United Kingdom, what the biggest benefit is of all after Messi's arrival in the United States of America.Other tidbits discussed are NBC's new Premier League set, what their coverage is lacking, whether Super Clubs in MLS are a good thing or not, your thoughts on ESPN's coverage of soccer, criticism for ESPN's inability to take advantage of a golden opportunity, and what we've enjoyed about this Premier League season so far.
1507. Kane to Bundesliga: Can ESPN move the needle?01:06:50Will Harry Kane's arrival in the Bundesliga move the needle with the popularity of the German league across the United States? We discuss, but we also dive into several related topics.For instance, is ESPN ready to promote the Bundesliga with as much attention that they've given to LaLiga? Does ESPN have the talent they need based in the United States who can share their expertise on German soccer? And we also share which league the Bundesliga is focused on overtaking internationally, and why it's important that social media is part of that strategy.As always, we also discuss a variety of other topics and answer your questions in the Listener Mailbag section. One of the topics is, if you’re not watching full games, can you call yourself a soccer fan?
1506. Neymar to MLS?01:02:39Hot on the heels of Messi, would Neymar Jr moving to MLS be a smart move for the league or not? What does he offer that would make fans want to watch him, and what are any risks, if any? We also discuss how it could impact MLS Season Pass.Other topics discussed: • What we're most looking forward to seeing in the Premier League this season• Added time, and how it's going to be an issue for TV broadcasters and viewers• How US Soccer Federation is benefitting from Messi coming to America• Why the US went crashing out of the Women's World Cup• How many soccer fans are watching highlights but not watching soccer games• What this Women's World Cup has been like
1505. Messi vs Women's World Cup: Choose one52:16Messi games with Inter Miami have become a must-watch on the calendar. So much so that they’re eating into Women’s World Cup viewership, and they may end up having an impact on Premier League viewership when that season starts in a week from now.With so many games happening this summer and so few hours, we dive into what viewing choices we're making and why, as well as sharing our opinions about some of the biggest stories in soccer this summer.Also discussed is whether Apple not sharing MLS Season Pass viewing numbers is helping or hurting the league. And why it's important to not believe all of the numbers you're hearing.It's also time to share our preview of the English Championship 2023/24 season, as well as mentioning some good news out of the Bundesliga.
1504. Messi is the best move MLS ever made01:19:46We dive into several meaty topics such as the impact that Messi has made on MLS and Leagues Cup, how this Summer of Soccer has been more gruelling than any before it, why the Women's World Cup is causing viewers to make a tough choice, how Messi is having an impact on the Soccer Champions Tour and European friendlies in the United States, how Leagues Cup attendances are doing compared to MLS attendances, what the 1 million number means for MLS Season Pass subscribers, and what's going on with the meek penalty kicks that seems like a trend of late.
1503. FA Cup changes could be devastating to lower league clubs44:43We discuss the radical changes that the Premier League are proposing for the FA Cup, including selling the rights to the competition outside the United Kingdom — and what that means for the world's oldest football competition, and the impact on lower division sides.Also discussed are the similiarties between changes to FA Cup and US Open Cup, what the Premier League’s motives may be in acquiring the rights, why the success of Wrexham may be a factor in the deal, and who has more power - the English FA or Premier League, and USSF or MLS.Last but not least, we share the details about Wrexham's streaming options for the 2023/24 season, and why fans of MLS seem to appear jealous anytime Wrexham AFC is mentioned.
1502. MLS Success Overly Dependent on Messi01:03:06What does it say about MLS that Leagues Cup was unable to get a TV deal in Mexico? We discuss the breaking news from Mexico where the TV networks have thumbed their noses at the US-based Leagues Cup competition involving MLS teams. We also analyze how MLS is now so dependent on Lionel Messi being a success for ticket sales, TV ratings, MLS Season Pass subscriptions and merchandise, but is the league over-dependent on one player?Also discussed is the news of Jon Champion heading to NBC Sports, and who his co-commentators may be, as well as whether USL is going to miss out on a major opportunity to ride the wave with Messi, World Cup 2026 and other major soccer events.