Skip to content

MLS draft and a new, innovative distribution platform … some people know it as “The Internet”

Jan 11, 2013, 8:10 PM EDT

MLS 2012 draft logo

Major League Soccer’s draft Thursday can be seen – but only if you have high-speed internet. (Well, or if you happen to be in Indiana and swing by on your lunch hour.)

MLS confirmed the chatter that this year’s “SuperDraft” will not be televised across any of the usual cable channels. (And by “usual,” in this case we mean ESPN 2 or Fox Soccer Channel.)

Now, MLS isn’t exactly spinning it this way. Rather, a press release today announced that Thursday’s proceedings from Indianapolis would be “broadcast to a global audience through an innovative distribution approach featuring ESPN SportsCenter and a number of online streaming partners including ESPN3, ESPNFC,, and YouTube.”

Which is all another way of saying, “on-line.”

There’s really only one reason why this draft – or any notable event related to major athletics, for that matter – is left at the platform as major cable channel train pulls away:  because none of the big boys wanted to broadcast it.

Honestly, it’s not a big deal. The MLS draft is watched intently by the soccer hard cores. And honestly, there aren’t enough of them at this point create a critical mass. So the draft is never a big TV event.

It’s tough in soccer because this isn’t football or basketball, where the college game gets major TV love.  In football and basketball, the general audience has some familiarity with the players to be selected at the pro draft.

College soccer dwells alongside other so-called “non-revenue” sports at colleges and universities, over in the far more anonymous side of campus.

Quick, who were the three Hermann award finalists for 2012? See.

So you can be a card-carrying, season ticket-holding, scarf-wearing hard core fan of … pick any MLS team … and you probably won’t know much (if anything) about the names called from the draft-day podium.

I just wish MLS wouldn’t try so hard to spin this into something else. It is what it is.

Oh, ESPN’s Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman are hosting. So, there will be quality talent assessing the scene across all those, uh, innovative distribution platforms.

  1. pensfan603 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    When you think about it most soccer fans cant even watch it during the day as you would have work and such. But on a side note i love the combine and draft i normally watch all the games and everything its always gun to see the guture of the mls in there first games, make your predictions on who is the best and who will go first overall and then be able to see how ti turns out, im not mad with it being online, im mad with the host i wish Greg, Simon, and Nick were they are alot more entertaining and know alot more then alexis and taylor.

  2. theasoccerist - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I think it is interesting to think about team philosophy in MLS. For example, do you take advantage of the combine to field young talent or do you go out on international markets for more expensive players? I try to apply some data to this question – at least for 2012 – and it seems to suggest that you either want to do fully one or the other. Teams in the middle have the worst performance

  3. jerichowhiskey - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    It doesn’t help that it’s hard to catch college games when they’re not even streamed most of the time or are behind a subscription service. My alma mater can be both.

    It also doesn’t help that they’re not going to stream the Combine games so we’re all going into the draft clueless save for the opinions of the MLS pundits that are there and the highlights which doesn’t tell everything.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

MOTD: United's offensive struggles