June 7, 2013
MY TWO CENTS
A fan's thoughts on ESPN's new soccer-themed TV show
Pete Falcone, who lives in Hoboken, N.J> is a Red Bulls season ticket holder.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Pete Falcone
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
I hope you all were as excited as I was when ESPN announced they are finally adding a soccer themed television program to their lineup.
I've mentioned over the past few years that now is the time to get soccer and particular, MLS into their schedule more. It's nice that ESPN broadcasts MLS, Liga MX and U.S. and Mexican national team games, but we need more than just games. We need discussion, highlights, interviews, storylines.
Baseball has "Baseball Tonight", the NFL has "NFL Live" which both are broadcast daily throughout the year including the off-season. Soccer and MLS can now get in on it with their own show. The format, time of day of broadcast, how many analysts or reporters and who they'll be on the show I believe has not yet been announced?
The format should be kept simple. Highlights from the weekend's games, storylines about who's playing well and who is not? Coaches on the hot seat, player trades, rumors of international transfers and then get a player or coach on for a five-minute live interview. There's plenty of material there to fill a 30-minute daily broadcast.
How many and who the show's analysts will be is very important. Well respected, not too opinionated and has a respected reputation among players and coaches are a few characteristics I feel they should have. And they do not have to be only former players. I'm sure there are a couple of veteran soccer writers in this country who are familiar with MLS, the national teams and international leagues that can discuss each easily.
The time of day when the show will be on is important. You want to get in front of viewers at a time when the highest number of them are watching television. And for this I think the evening hours and not morning is better. Chances are viewers aren't watching much television in the morning because they're heading to work; whereas in the evening, when they arrive home from work, it is a better time to get their attention. This because they might not be heading anywhere for the rest of the evening and so you have their undivided attention.
Soccer has made great strides in the country over the last decade. The national team and international exhibitions draw large crowds to live games. And MLS is getting better and better with its quality of play. Now we just need the television ratings to catch up to the progress on the field and I think ESPN FC is a big step in the right direction to increasing ratings.
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