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MLS Seeks $300 Million Media Rights Deal

“They will do well, but there’s things that are working for them and things that will perhaps reduce their increase.”

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Major League Soccer is coming off one of the most successful seasons in its history at a very opportune time for the league. The MLS is trying to convince networks that it is worth around $300,000,000 ahead of their current TV deal ending in 2022.

The league’s broadcast rights are currently split three ways between ESPN, FOX, and Univision. The current deals generate roughly $90 million annually, so the $300 million would be a big jump for the MLS.

The sport of soccer is growing exponentially in the US and that really should help the league’s bargaining position.

NBCUniversal agreed to pay $2.7 billion to retain the Premier League’s US broadcast rights. That figure is up from the $1 billion EPL received from the network in the previous agreement. This alone should help the MLS when it comes time to negotiate.

Another reason for optimism when it comes to the MLS is that the league itself has been steadily growing.

For the 2021 regular season, MLS said it averaged 276,000 viewers for 31 regular-season games across ESPN channels, including ABC. That’s up from the average 233,000 viewers who consumed 39 MLS games in 2020 on ESPN platforms.

“They will do well,” said Lee Berke of LHB Sports, a sports media consultancy firm. “But there’s things that are working for them and things that will perhaps reduce their increase.”

One of those things that could potentially limit how much the league could see from networks is that the U.S. Soccer Federation, which operates the rights, ended its partnership with Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm for the MLS last May. That means MLS can’t add those rights to its new package.

Without those rights, media pundits believe that the MLS may fall short of their hope of $300 million for a TV deal. Many expect it to be more in the range of $200 million instead.

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Chris Long Didn’t Like the Attention That Came With TV Analyst Work

“If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that.”

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Former NFL defensive end Chris Long has found his niche in the media space as the host of The Green Light Podcast and it is an outlet that he has been very comfortable with in terms of expressing his opinions.

Long was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast and he told Schrager that on the occasions when he has been an analyst on television, the attention he got was not something he was completely comfortable with.

“Sure, I maybe could work towards having one of those good jobs, but I also understand there’s a big process with that.

“I’ve been at a crossroads at times as a media guy where I’m like ‘Should I just do that?’ If I got to ask myself, then I don’t really want it. If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that and honestly, the couple of times I’ve been on TV, I don’t like the attention.”

One of the reasons Long mentioned why he isn’t comfortable being on TV is he doesn’t want to feel like he has to perform and on his podcast, he can be himself.

“Being on TV, I get really uncomfortable performing. I don’t like performing and I don’t like being told what to say. Here, that never happens. For the most part, I think finding your groove in this side of things is just having conversations…It’s just a nice change of pace.”

Long also feels that in this day and age of social media, it’s a constant argument about any NFL point that is being made and that is not something he wants to deal with.

“The world of podcasting has gotten better where the money is very good. Maybe I’d be making a little less money starting out doing studio stuff. For me, I do not like — whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s a guy on the street — I’m over arguing with people.”

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NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media

“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.

New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.

Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.

The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.

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Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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