TSN going to five channels

I think one of the big reasons the CFL turned around so well on TSN was the CFL panel, full of veteran players who not only know the game, but are entertaining in their own right. MLS however doesn't have that luxury, as MLS hasn't bee around long enough (at least in Canada) to have a lot of vets talk about the game (save only for perhaps Jason de Vos) and the existing formula for soccer seems to be to try to regurgitate whatever the premier league does as far as reporting.

It goes beyond just the TV coverage though. You look at why people turn in to NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and even CFL, it goes beyond just being a fan of the game. There are players and teams people can identify with. The only guy who really drew people into MLS was Beckham. Henry provided a ratings boost when he joined NY but that hasn't persisted. Unless it's your local team on TV, a lot of people won't tune in. Outside of local fans, who is going to make Columbus vs Kansas city MLS appointment television?

The other problem is perception. The dollar value of the new TV deal and the money MLS is pulling in by selling new franchises will help try attract and pay for international players and help keep top tier US players stateside. But they still have a ways to go to overcome the perception that the only internationals MLS will be able to attract is the aging star trying to finish off their careers looking good against inferior talent in the MLS. And the news today that England relegated Dafoe off the main World Cup squad to injury replacement status won't help MLS. Regardless of whether Dafoe didn't earn a roster spot legitimately, there will always be talk that this was payback for moving to MLS. That will make it harder to attract younger international players who will think twice about how it will affect their aspirations to play for their country in the WC and Olympics.

It's amazing that they are getting such a bump in a TV deal when their ratings would be enough to cancel a regular TV show. Ratings won't/don't matter thanks to all the competition to fill the airtime for all the added sports channels helps drive up the value of the TV deals. I remember earlier this year on TSN radio a US based MLB writer discussing yet another massive contract signing made a comment that some teams are so flush with cash from local and national broadcast deals and other revenue that they don't even think twice about the dollar figures they hand out because then their profit levels would be too high. TSN has been a good partner for the CFL and vice versa I think, but how much better the deal could have been if there was another legitimate competitor to TSN for the TV rights.

It seems that with the amount of money involved TSN would broadcast every game. How does it happen that not all pregames are on television this season. Is this some mistake because I’m not happy!

:thdn: