By: Kartik Krishnaiyer
Soccer fans in the United States often complain that the sport isn’t properly advertised or promoted by the networks who hold the rights to show the most popular leagues. While soccer still sits behind many other sports in terms of promotion, some networks do a better job than others in making viewers aware of what soccer properties they air.
The success of a league measured by TV viewing numbers can be attributed to several factors outside of how entertaining a league is. After all, if no one knows when the games are being televised, it can have a dramatic impact on the viewing numbers no matter how good the league is. Vice versa, some leagues may end up getting promoted more heavily than others, but if the quality of the soccer on display isn’t worth watching, the league’s TV viewing numbers may be insufficient even if the league is promoted ad nauseam.
Before we dive into analyzing how well each soccer-related broadcaster is doing promoting the major soccer properties they have the rights to, what do we consider to be promotion anyway? We’re looking at in-house ads on the respective TV networks. We look at the advertiser that each network does to promote the leagues on other media such as website banner ads, TV commercials on other networks and sponsored ads on social media. Plus, promos during other shows on networks are important in addition to getting the word out to journalists via media publicity (i.e. public relations).
All of these are factored into the analysis of each network, and the grade we’ve given them.
Here’s our review of how well the networks are promoting their soccer properties, which includes analysis and grades from both myself and World Soccer Talk publisher Christopher Harris:
Kartik: Univision’s recent forays into European club football complement its already superior promotion of Liga MX broadcasts. Simply put, nobody promotes soccer more during non-soccer or non-sports events than Univision.
One of the outstanding aspects of Univision’s coverage in the past several months is the unrelenting promoting of UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga during Liga MX matches in addition to the BundesGol and SomosBundesliga bumper programs that should serve as templates of what FOX Sports could do on the English-language side with the same league.
Christopher: To add to Kartik’s praise of Univision, I’ve been particularly impressed by the way that Univision Deportes advertises on sites not owned or operated by the Spanish-language broadcaster. Also, their PR department is helpful and accessible, which helps to get the word out about all of the soccer coverage they share.
Grade: A (Kartik Krishnaiyer)
Grade: B (Christopher Harris)
Average grade: B+
Source: World Soccer Talk