NASL and TV
TKR has learned that despite being unsanctioned at this time, that the newly formed NASL has moved forward with its plans to broadcast its inaugural season on Television. Two sources confirmed to us that the league has leveraged the relationships of Traffic Sports USA and reached out preliminarily to multiple cable/satellite channels.
USL-1 has one game weekly on Fox Soccer Channel and a monthly breakaways show on the channel, which more often than not features PDL, W-League and USL-2 content. Last year, USL offered its broadband package, USL Live which previously cost $49.95, for free. The video, produced by NuLion who also works with the NHL and NFL was of a good quality, and gave USL the ability to place highlights on local news telecasts.
USL has paid Fox Soccer Channel for the time to broadcast matches. Our understanding is that the new NASL would do the same with is chosen broadcast carrier (from 1996 to 2006, MLS had to pay to broadcast games, and ESPN had to buy the time on ABC. That’s why after the 1999 season, ABC’s MLS coverage was reduced substantially), but may find its matches in more lucrative time slots than USL does.
While the NASL is not yet sanctioned, they are moving forward making plans for the 2010 season. USL has not announced its plans for broadband or TV in 2010, but let us hope the USL Live product continues to be of the highest quality. The ability to watch games on broadband last year helped expand USL’s fan base beyond those who simply attend matches.