MLS TV Deals 2014

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by eddygee, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. eddygee

    eddygee Member

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    In this thread we analyze how much revenue the league can earn from its three current deals with NBC Sports, Univision, and ESPN.


  2. triplet1

    triplet1 BigSoccer Supporter

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    Well, for starters here are the terms:

    ESPN:

    An eight year, $64 million deal that pays MLS $8 million a year through 2014.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/.../Flat-MLS-Ratings-Not-What-ESPN-Expected.aspx


    UNIVISION:

    An eight year, nearly $80 million deal that pays MLS between $9m - $10m per year through 2014.


    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/...s/MLS-Snags-Univision-For-Spanish-Rights.aspx


    and now NBC/Comcast:

    A three year, $36 million deal that will pay MLS $12m per year from 2012 through 2014.


    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ent.../08/nbc-sports-snags-major-league-soccer.html


    Collectively, MLS will get about $30 million annually from the three national TV deals starting in 2012 through 2014.
  3. eddygee

    eddygee Member

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    Was doing alot of thinking about this yesterday and am thinking this based off the deals we got last time with the state of our league with was horrible and where were at now I don't find it out of question that league can get triple and quadruple as much from the next TV deals in 2014 World Cup Year.

    My reasons being since 2006 to current the league has added a handful of teams and even more will join by then. I believe the 20th team will be in NY followed by Detroit and ST Louis.

    We have one thing on our side and that will be demand for future WC rights. With NBC jumping in the game ESPN will now have a competitor to drive the bidding we all know this goes through SUM. I see ESPN paying three times as much to the League/SUM to be in good graces. UNIVISION has always been our biggest TV rights contributor, I see them paying two and half times as much as when they started their deal w/ the league in 06. That leaves us with the NBC deal who I see a similar situation with the NHL deal they need us as much as we need them they want WC games and believe the will pony up the cash to get in on that action, they also need legit sports leagues on their new channel to make a run at ESPN,

    So when its done I see in three years 2014 Annual TV revenues like this
    ESPN currently 8-9 mil per yr 06 deal - 2014 projection 25-30 mil per yr

    UNIVSION 9-10 Mil per yr 06 deal 2014 projection 25-30 mil per yr

    NBC Sports 10-Mil per yr current 2014 projection 55-60 mil per yr

    Throw in extras for the league like the Canadian TV rights and International TV rights which were sold at 10 mil per yr, which is ok for Intl rights looks promising.
  4. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine Member

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    Attractive numbers, but you left out Fox. Fox Soccer Channel will want some MLS and US back and Fox networks will enter the bidding. The smart thing to do is package the product so Fox, NBC, ESPN, and the Spanish language channels can all bid on pieces. Like the NFL, spread the games around, but demand high prices. SUM will bundle WC rights, US games, and MLS in ways to up the money and the exposure for MLS. I think the sky is the limit in 2014 and expansion to a 2nd NY,Atlanta, Florida, a couple of midwest cities, and maybe another Canadian city are all possible before 2020.


  5. eddygee

    eddygee Member

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    Yeah your right I guess didn't throw FOX in there assumed we sorta turn that page.

    Your spot on w/ the packaging tho but will believe that league will stop with 22 teams in 11 division conference or some sorta division setup.

    For the immediate future as far as TV deal were looking at 20-22 teams that many teams significantly increase deal value. 20-22 teams /each team playing each other twice is a 40-44 game season with 800 to 880 games. Thats alot of games to split between currently ESPN, UNIVISON, NBC, and MLS Direct Kick Packages, throw FOX if there still in the picture.

    I mean look at what were getting now from our deals just to show 30 to 40 games a year on these Networks. One would think that these deals could be signifcantly sweetened if we can get twice as many games shown on each network. Or whatever network is willing to take the extra games. That would be our Main Network and our best deal.
  6. El Duderino

    El Duderino Member

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    I'm not sure this is how it works. What incentive would there be for these networks to bid high if they know the league is going to spread their TV packages around to just about everybody? I imagine the networks would say, "We're probably going to get a piece of the pie anyway, so no need to throw a bunch of money at it." It's difficult to compare that to the NFL, where their TV packages are always going to be in massive demand. It's kind of a different animal.
  7. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    SUM has nothing to do with World Cup rights any more.

    Back in 2002 SUM was formed with the expressed interest of purchasing the English language rights for the 2002 and 2006 WC's at a cut rate price. They succeeded in securing the rights and then partnered with Disney on cost and revenue sharing plan.

    Once the rights for 2010/2014 came along, Disney worked directly with FIFA to win the English language rights for $100 million. Univision won the Spanish rights for $300 million.

    SUM will not be involved in the next set of bids either. The broadcasters will work directly with FIFA again.
  8. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Garber made it crystal clear that they lined up all the tv contracts to expire the same time in the hopes of signing an exclusive deal with one entity (likely which ever entity wins the WC rights)

    Remember the key to everything is the Spanish rights to the WC. That will drive everything. Disney has no realistic ability to acquire them. Univision is the long time encombant and will be very hard to outbid. COMCAST is the key. Not not only do they own NBC but they also own Telemundo. This gives them power that no one else has and that would be to go after both the English and Spanish rights which would be extremely expensive.

    MLS rights will be tied in some how as FIFA made it clear last time that the bidders can't ignore MLS. How much MLS gets is anyones guess.

    Just remember, there is a huge risk here. God forbid if the US does not qualify for the WC. That will have a ripple affect on the price of all contracts.
  9. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Unless you have a weather machine to extend the season, you are never going to see a 40-44 game season. It is a non starter considering how incredibly crowded the schedule already is.
  10. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    I know sometimes it is really just the left pocket and the right pocket but remember that some of these deals also include US National team games and some of the money goes in that direction, not all to MLS (although in the end as I said, it is likely just a different pocket of the same pants)
  11. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    Univision is getting the shaft!

    8 million and they are getting FSC type ratings. :eek:
  12. eddygee

    eddygee Member

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    Believe your wrong my friend were at 36 games now if Im correct. Next year 38 with Montreal, 2nd NYC team is 20 teams means 40 games if u add two more which I believe somehow will be two Midwest teams Detroit and St Louis the 42nd and 44th games, with each team playing each other twice. Doesn't seem so far fetched now huh. Remember money talks.

    The league wants $$$$ Garber has made that clear he will go down as being the $$$ commish. The only obstacle I see here will be the players complaining because of the 4-6 added games. This could get solved by the expanded rosters to 25 and this also solves USSF Klinnsman complaint of MLS off season being to long to keep players in-form.

    $$$Talks.
  13. eddygee

    eddygee Member

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    Not exactly they signed that deal knowing when ratings were horrible while they're not great now they've gotten significantly better on the spanish networks. Keep in mind they spread there games out like espn does with espn2 they do with telefutara.

    People need to keep in mind these deals were done on the cheap by companies who can far afford to pay more. These deals could be described by lets throw a little money and lets see what we can get ouuta of it type deals rather than lets invest and build the product type deals.

    You get what you pay for if networks want bigger ratings that requires investing in the league so the league can further grow and attract the bigger stars which draw the ratings for the network its a two way street. Networks have to invest in order for the league to draw the ratings. No league in the US ever established has ever evolved any way different from this model.
  14. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    It has nothing to do with ratings per say, it has to do with demographics within the ratings.

    This is why Disney has a larger viewing audience than Univision does for the world cup, but pays 3 times less in rights fees.

    Because Univisions demographics are more precise they can charge more for advertisements than Disney can even though Disney hits more eye balls.

    Advertisers really care which eye balls they are hitting. That is why focusing on just the rating number alone never tells the whole story with out the detailed demo's.
  15. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Umm no, you are making the mistake of assuming a balanced schedule.

    There has been no word about a balanced schedule in the future and there likely can not be due to schedule congestion.

    In fact the Portland fans have already seen that it likely won't be balanced as they already have next years ticket package in front of them which does not have enough home games to support a balanced schedule. While this is not set in stone, it certainly gives you a good idea what the individual teams think is going to happen.
  16. bbsbt

    bbsbt Member+

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    What I want to know is... what role, if any, do the Cosmos play in all this?
  17. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    A team that plays in NY proper would obviously be very important to the new deal.

    Whether that incredibly complex calculation (ressurection of the Cosmos) can be solved to be ready by 2015 is anyone's guess. But until some real money men emerge and a real stadium plan surfaces, the Cosmos should not be considered as a part of the new deal.
  18. tomreel555

    tomreel555 New Member

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    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/mls-signs-six-year-tv-deal-canadas-tsn

    Its worthwhile to include TV deals from Canada. Last year TFC was on CBC (national tv) now this year they are on TSN for a bunch of games, on Rogers Sportsnet for Vancouver Whitecaps games that aren't on TSN and TFC games that aren't on TSN are on GolTV Canada. Not sure what the numbers are.

    RDS (French national TV in Canada - basically Quebec) will be carrying Montreal Impact games. I think TSN will also be carrying Montreal games too.

    I can't find details for how much MLS is pulling in from that.
    Also, does anyone have details for local TV revenue. I assume the Sounders and Timbers get pretty good deals.

    I think if you take TV revenue + shirt sponsorship + merchandise + league sponsors + other sponsorships I can think of right now MLS probably collectively makes $100 million from non match-day revenue - which equates to about a little more than 5 million a team if shared 100/20.

    Not to hijack the thread... :D but the cap should really be at least 5 million if that's what the average non match-day revenue is. Match day revenue on top of that should take care of things pretty nicely. I know a few teams don't have shirt sponsorships, but they are the minority so tough luck to them...
  19. Heist

    Heist Member+

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    Not to burst your bubble, but I see neither 22 teams nor 44 games any time soon or maybe ever in terms of games per team.
  20. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Yeah, I posted a similar argument.

    I could see 22 teams though well before 44 games if I had to choose one of the two. Unless someone figures out how to magically elongate the season or MLS gives up on Open Cup and CCL (which they won't), there is really no way to fit in that many games. Lord knows the big name friendlies are here to stay, too much money wrapped up in those to be given up anytime soon.
  21. Mucky

    Mucky Member+

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    MLS season could comfortably be stretched two weeks either side to gain another month.
    I know it is a shocking idea but people could wear coats! :p

    Then there is always the option to play some games in the warmer climes or even take some games on the road to warm weather cities that don't have a franchise.

    I am pretty sure Garber dreams conferences in his sleep though so I expect the balanced schedule to go out of the window sooner rather than later.
  22. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Wow, why didn't the Rapids think of that when they had to cancel the Shield game against the Sounders in 2010. It was only one week before the season, we could have just wore coats!
  23. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    While it sounds simple you probably forget just what happened a few weeks before this season started where numerous cities were under snow. The schedule has been stretched to it's hilt right now.

    Extending and further and you risk not only canceling games at the beginning of the year but more importantly (or dangerously) you risk playoff games being affected. Neither of which are good business moves at all.
  24. Mucky

    Mucky Member+

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    Wow indeed, you think games don't get cancelled in the summer?
    You think it isn't a damn sight colder in Northern Europe in January than Colorado in November?
    One cancelled game in 2010 is your evidence it can't be done?
    Shut up.
  25. Mucky

    Mucky Member+

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    It is possible a couple of games would get postponed but then it is possible they get postponed in the summer too due to bad weather.
    I am not bothered one way or the other really though I prefer a balanced schedule and the point is that if that meant the season needed to be extended the climate is not the insurmountable barrier some people claim it would be.

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