ESPNFC: Can MLS ever emerge from Europe's shadow?


Mar 23, 2014

This article frustrates me.

Its ridiculous. First of all EPL is mostly on in the morning, in the winter, on one channel that promotes the hell out of it. Its competition is infomercials. It features some of the best players in the world with very old rivalries.

MLS is on weekend afternoons, in the summer, on two channels sporadically, at all different times of the day, and features less talented players in far younger rivalries. Not to mention going toe to toe with ratings juggernauts that slaughter the EPL ratings.

Not to mention, MLS isn't truly a national league yet. There's no teams in the Southeast yet.

Boy, I wonder why MLS isn't wiping the floor with the EPL yet?

MLS is working on this very hard. They're willing to give up tv money in exchange for regular time slots and promotional ads on the network. They will get it fixed. The league isn't even 20 years old yet.
I think you may be missing the point. The TV issue is relevant, but it's only a byproduct of the system, not the defining factor between success and failure. By your own admission, European football is on TV at totally different times to the MLS, which should make it possible to follow a Euro team and an American one, yet many seem to only follow the Euro team. Sure, there's an element of people favouring other sports but from what I understand, even those who prefer football to other US sports often reject the American version.

The author is questioning whether the reason the MLS is struggling is because it's still trying to turn a European product into something American rather than cashing in on the more "exotic" allures of the European system, and whether to defeat the more entrenched appeal of NFL, it needs to stop trying to be NFL - or even whether it is actually possible to do this, and whether football (soccer)'s appeal in the US is precisely that it fills the "something not American" niche that people find interesting in a way that nothing from the US could.
When MLS reach the standard 28-32 teams we see in US major leagues we can judge.. :cool: