One final word before we put the U.S. Soccer - FIFA calendar debate to bed
One final word about the topic du jour, and it starts with a true story:
A few years ago I got a call from an MLS suit in New York. We were just chatting about this and that when he started moaning about the lack of media attention. The corner offices were concerned, and so were some ranking club officials.
It was the beginning of American football season, and all the bright media sunshine of the summer was disappearing under a massive weather system known as the NFL. And disappearing even further due to another one known as “college football.”
That was at the beginning of the American football season. Can you imagine if we were trying to squeeze some soccer coverage in right now? Around bowl season? Around NFL playoff time?
Talk about “no contest.”
And that is yet another reason this move to the international soccer calendar is a bad idea.
Elements of new world media (blogs, podcasts, social media, etc.) have significantly reduced the need for “legacy media” attention. Still, it matters.
With football consuming such a big slice of the tradition media pie, so much of the rest would be divided among basketball and hockey. Soccer would get whatever thin little sliver was still left over – right after off-season baseball, that is.
Reduced coverage in legacy media translates at some point to reduced attendance and shrinking sponsorship dollars. Reduced attendance and shrinking sponsorship dollar gives legacy media even less incentive to cover the game (in a day when a lot of the older decision makers still don’t want to cover it anyway.)
Again, it won’t always be this way – but today it is.