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The conversations we’ll have … at MLS All-Star activities in Kansas City, that is

Jul 29, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT


KANSAS CITY – On the inside, an All-Star game isn’t really about the 90 minutes of high profile shots and saves. It is … but it isn’t.

Equally, it’s about everyone who is anyone in and around MLS – don’t just think New York-based MLS suits, think owners, sponsors, agents, GMs, familiar broadcast types, etc. – getting together for hobbing and nobbing and a few very official meetings. Decisions will start to be made at high levels, even if they aren’t officially voted in and announced until the same bunch of movers, shakers and legit playa’s get together four months hence at a championship site to be determined.

Here are the primary topics of conversation I expect will be coming up over the next few days (potentially rainy days, if today is any indication). If they aren’t conversations already, they should be.

TV negotiations: Don’t forget, MLS deals with NBC, ESPN and Telemundo all expire in 2014. The new Fox Sports 1 network in August. So with ESPN , Fox, NBC Sports and potentially beIN Sports all looking to fill programming, the momentum is sure to start building now on this one now. (Forbes wrote about some of this recently, attached to how the new franchise in NYC will play into it.)

The Chivas USA situation: Better said, perhaps, “The Chivas USA mess.” During a Twitter Q&A today, MLS commissioner Don Garber indicated he would address the ongoing fiasco (my words, not his) at halftime of Wednesday’s match at Sporting Park. Can. Not. Wait.

Expansion: Always expansion … the “whens,” “wheres” and “how manys.” You know the last time an MLS board meeting when expansion didn’t go around the big, fancy table at some point? Right!  It’s a trick question. I believe it has never happened. (The words “Miami” and “Beckham” are sure to come up a lot is said discussions.)

  1. creek0512 - Jul 29, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    I sure hope the new TV deals are worth more to MLS than $20 million per year, since the current deals are worth $27 million per year. That typically, poorly written Forbes article completely ignores the national TV revenue from ESPN and Univision.

  2. adiaz9201 - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    The goal is to reach what EPL brings in from NBC, MLS is not there yet but it has potential with NYCFC bound to come in 2015 it should generate a huge revenue when Red Bulls FC and NYCFC play and dont forget the friendies with the NY Cosmos.

    Miami is a must and you have to bring another as well to have an even schedule and even teams at 22. MLS is on its way to becomng a huge league, i wasnt a soccer fan 20 years ago, now i live in breath it.

  3. griffinjohn - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    It is a guess and certainly not the best broadcast window but with ESPN getting out of NASCAR starting in 2015, I could see ESPN pitching a Sunday afternoon MLS Game of the Week to replace those NASCAR races.
    I would caution readers that the next TV deal will not be a huge money-maker for the League. I still think the League is a couple of TV contracts away from that. There are too few of us tuning in if “our” team is not playing on NBCSN or ESPN during their national telecasts.
    Expansion will help the negotiation so I feel like we will know by Wednesday night the next steps regarding expansion, will it be two or four and over how many years?

  4. hildezero - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I never Telemundo actually broadcast MLS games in their channel.

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