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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Without a league, will there be a game?

As Portland continues the rip-up of its civic stadium for Little Lord Paulson's "major league" soccer team, the league's future remains in doubt. They just released MLS's television ratings for the season just concluded -- only 249,000 average viewers per Thursday night game, down 12.3% from last year and the lowest in the last three years. The Saturday night games drew just 53,000 viewers apiece, same as last year.

Soccer is popular in Portland, but if the league fails, the taxpayers will likely regret rendering PGE Park unusable for baseball. And without TV revenue, which pretty obviously is never going to come, it's hard to see how the soccer organization will survive.

Comments (21)

It will make a wonderful homeless facility....

Portland City (idiots?) leaders will then decide that they should spend millions to upgrade the new soccer stadium to a... yes, a baseball stadium.

Yo yo back and forth between the two.

Seriously, how much more will Portland voters put up with??? So sad, but really it is fun to watch since it is not my money being wasted.

Maybe Seattle and Portland will wind up playing against each other 20 times a year and call it the I-5 Cup. Or Portland could just play with itself and call it the Sam Adams Cup.


Oh snap!!!


This taxpayer sure regrets losing the Portland Beavers. Why we booted them from PGE park for a risky start-up soccer league is beyond me. The city leaders are looking pretty stupid right now.

What do you mean "right now"?
I think this is a permanent state.

It's reassuring you know everything and are always right Randy. Two more years...two more years....

Just how many joints does it take to enjoy a 1 to 0 soccer game?

“Dental floss, toothpicks and chewing gum,” that’s how our Mayor described the city’s resources to keep our roads cleared this winter. Well, if that’s the case, I’m buying a 4-WD bicycle to get myself to the soccer games next winter! They do play year round don’t they?

You don't have to be rocket scientist to see that when ad revenue dries up for kickball, ESPN will dump the broadcasts entirely. Way too many other more lucrative sports events to fill broadcast time with.
And isn't the League mostly surviving on franchise fees?

I don't think there would be too many people interested in Sam Adams'cup.

I think women's mud wresting would get a better draw on ESPN than major league kickball.

If soccer goes down and baseball makes a comeback, this could come in handy.

Way too many other more lucrative sports events to fill broadcast time with.

Women's beach volleyball comes to mind.

Soccer's format doesn't lend itself to being televised like baseball or football for instance which both have breaks in play for commercials and commentary.

As a hockey fan (and yes, admittedly, a soccer fan), I'm going to try to explain the reasons for the low viewership. A lot of it has to do with what us hockey fans like to pitch and moan about: the sport being shown on a channel people don't typically really look to watch.

Who can tell me what channel Versus is?

While ESPN2 still has that "ESPN" label, it's often passed over.

As far as highlights for hockey (or soccer) - there are hardly any highlights during ESPN or practically zilch for local spots segments. I understand why - people think "not baseball, basketball or football" and don't want to waste air time.

FSC is channel 401. I love FSC. It has technical problems aplenty, with sometimes a grainy'ish picture and some sound problems.

Plus - Thursday evening broadcasts? Do they not think they're sending those out to die? Lots of programming on Thursday evenings (Must See TV?!) that others probably would like to watch.

I know this is an anti-soccer crowd here. I get it. Soccer isn't the most exciting sport, yadda yadda yadda.

I'm thinking the MLS will do fine here in Portland. Of course, it's not going to draw Premiership-like crowds (60k+) or viewership / sports coverage like the EPL has in England. But it'll just do fine.

I understand the passion about Beaver's baseball. It SUCKS that Portland had to apparently choose one or the other. Ideally, we could have both exist and all be happy.

Soccer fans know where to find games on TV. The casual fan won't and that's the problem. It has nothing to do with the difficulty of figuring out what channel the games are on. There simply are not enough fans who want to watch the sport on television. And the point about the day of the week is silly - what's the expectation here? I doubt there's any day of the week where the games would draw many more viewers - are lots of casual soccer fans going to give up Friday or Saturday nights? Saturday afternoons?

The difference with the MLS and other major sports, is that the MLS keeps it costs in check. The NFL and the NBA are looking at potential lockouts and strikes in the coming years due to sky high salaries while. The MLS has kept salaries in check and doesn't need big TV ratings to survive.

So Jack when the Timbers sell out every game next season what will you complain about then? Oh, wait I already know, not enough bathrooms for guys with going problems.

As I've said time and time again, the Timbers will have big crowds as long as there is a league. But there may not be a league for long. Thanks for displaying your ignorance of my position. Soccer clowns know how to scream, but apparently don't know how to listen.

Enjoy your time in the lines.

2 words - Roller Derby GOOOAAALLL

The Rip City Roller Girls.... now there's something to get behind.

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