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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

Prometheus Dec 13, 2017 7:29 PM

To follow up on the MLS Cup TV ratings from the American perspective. In the U.S., the game was watched by 803,000 viewers on ESPN. Adjusting for population, that is the equivalent of 85,000 English-speaking Canadians tuning into Major League Soccer's Championship game:

Quote:

2017 MLS Cup final viewership drops 43% across ESPN and Univision Deportes

On the English-language ESPN broadcast, the match averaged 803,000 viewers. Meanwhile, the game averaged 304,000 viewers on UniMas and Univision Deportes.
Source: http://worldsoccertalk.com/2017/12/1...sion-deportes/

esquire Dec 13, 2017 7:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prometheus (Post 8017834)
To follow up on the MLS Cup TV ratings from the American perspective. In the U.S., the game was watched by 803,000 viewers on ESPN. Adjusting for population, that is the equivalent of 85,000 English-speaking Canadians:

Source: http://worldsoccertalk.com/2017/12/1...sion-deportes/

I noticed that yesterday and I found it downright shocking... I didn't want to post it for fear of being accused of trolling, but now that you've put it out there...

That is an astonishing number. To put it in perspective, someone previously posted that the 2017 Grey Cup - a league that has zero teams in the US and barely any presence there at all - managed to draw something around 230,000 viewers on ESPN2, and that was going head to head with the NFL.

There is no question that Toronto FC is a team with real presence in their market, but it is clear that in the US, MLS is treated a bit like minor league baseball... in other words, a fun way to spend an afternoon watching the home team, but not something anyone really pays that much attention to when their team isn't playing. Hell, with those numbers it appears that barely anyone in Seattle was paying attention to the final.

I don't doubt that MLS has grown significantly, but holy hanna it sure hasn't translated into TV numbers.

FrankieFlowerpot Dec 13, 2017 7:58 PM

A caveat to the 2016 and 2017 MLS Cup ratings:

2016 MLS Cup was in primetime on network TV - Fox

2017 MLS Cup was on in the afternoon on cable TV and was up alongside the Army-Navy college football game which drew it's biggest rating in 15 years


edit: also 2017's rating on ESPN were up 20% on the last time they had the game in 2015

Prometheus Dec 13, 2017 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankieFlowerpot (Post 8017885)

A caveat to the 2016 and 2017 MLS Cup ratings:

2016 MLS Cup was in primetime on network TV - Fox

2017 MLS Cup was on in the afternoon on cable TV and was up alongside the Army-Navy college football game which drew it's biggest rating in 15 years

But the same "caveat" applies, for instance, to the Grey Cup on TSN in Canada: Cable TV, afternoon game in the West, head-to-head competition with NFL Sunday (and only one Canadian team involved, since no one in Toronto cares, so we are told). There is no coherent way in which the U.S. TV numbers for the MLS Cup can be positively construed. Just 803,000 people watching the Championship game of a large U.S. professional league on ESPN's main network in a country of 325 million represents total oblivion, according to any rational standard.

Hackslack Dec 13, 2017 9:06 PM

Anyone know what the 2017 Grey Cup ratings were in the USA? It would be interesting o see how it performed on NFL Sunday.

I'm not surprised the MLS Cup final ratings were down so much in the USA, as ratings I assume would drop too if the Raptors or Jays were in the finals.

esquire Dec 13, 2017 9:15 PM

^ I recall seeing the figure 230-something thousand viewers on ESPN2. Don't ask me where it came from, I think I saw it on Twitter. It's floating around out there.

FrankieFlowerpot Dec 13, 2017 9:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prometheus (Post 8017928)
There is no coherent way in which the U.S. TV numbers for the MLS Cup can be positively construed.



Yes there is - 2017's rating on ESPN were up 20% on the last time they had the game in 2015. :tup:

JHikka Dec 13, 2017 9:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 8017971)
I'm not surprised the MLS Cup final ratings were down so much in the USA, as ratings I assume would drop too if the Raptors or Jays were in the finals.

I imagine it's a ratings nightmare for the MLB in the US if the Jays ever beat the Red Sox/Yankees in the playoffs. Beating the Clevelands or Kansas Citys of the world is slightly more manageable, I would imagine.

The MLS Cup numbers aren't too bad if you combine them into a North American viewership number and keep in mind that the playoffs drag on for a woefully long time with a break in the middle.

In the end, this year's MLS Cup was the highest rated since 2012, 75% increase over ESPN's last time hosting (in terms of 0.7 overnight), and achieved the Seattle market's highest ever ratings for an MLS match.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Esquire
I don't doubt that MLS has grown significantly, but holy hanna it sure hasn't translated into TV numbers.

There's more revenue to be made from sponsorship than from traditional TV today and in the future.

osmo Dec 13, 2017 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prometheus (Post 8017928)
But the same "caveat" applies, for instance, to the Grey Cup on TSN in Canada: Cable TV, afternoon game in the West, head-to-head competition with NFL Sunday (and only one Canadian team involved, since no one in Toronto cares, so we are told). There is no coherent way in which the U.S. TV numbers for the MLS Cup can be positively construed. Just 803,000 people watching the Championship game of a large U.S. professional league on ESPN's main network in a country of 325 million represents total oblivion, according to any rational standard.

FrankieFlowerpot has a point -- TV windows matter in the USA. Saturday is a dead zone for USA TV, especially Saturday afternoon. It is one of the worst TV windows of the week but for MLS it is more favourable versus a Sunday where they would have to compete with NFL. You have mainstays such as College Football but aside from that not much performs well there for TV numbers (the exact opposite here in Canada with Saturday a core night for television, especially sports.)

The MLS final on OTR television at night with Fox having it as the main attention piece is much more favourable versus ESPN, with so much going on, treats is as leftovers.

There is also the truth that MLS fans are much younger. These "TV ratings" are relics that 'Old industry' holds onto. Nobody under the age of 30 has cord hooked up TV and if any watched this game it was all online via legal and non-legal means. MLS will never get big TV numbers simply because its younger fanbase does not watch TV.

I have a theory that the NBA actually has greater viewership but their numbers get suppressed versus NFL but because so many NBA fans stream games and use league pass it is hard to put an actual number to it. NFL is all OTR which is its bread and butter and with more limited games cash in on more eyeballs held captive and spread out over fewer games. NBA though, you see kids streaming games on their phones or computers all the time, how does one catch and measure that? We don't have a proven method yet.

Also ---- 200K Americans based in Michigan and New York State is great for the CFL here in Canada, but in the USA this is still peanuts also. 200K is healthy but no place will show the geographics of that. It is likely the CFL has a healthy following in border states and the Baltimore area.

esquire Dec 13, 2017 10:45 PM

^ No disputing that 230K for the CFL on ESPN2 is peanuts. But this is a league without teams in the US, and no discernible marketing there of any kind, let alone having a large city with a team playing in the final game.

To put it in perspective, the Labour Day Saskatchewan/Winnipeg CFL game drew more viewers on TSN than the MLS Cup did on ESPN in the entire United States. Not per capita, but straight up. This is a regular season game between two teams in provinces with a total combined population that is less than that of the Seattle MSA.

osmo Dec 13, 2017 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8018102)
^ No disputing that 230K for the CFL on ESPN2 is peanuts. But this is a league without teams in the US, and no discernible marketing there of any kind, let alone having a large city with a team playing in the final game.

To put it in perspective, the Labour Day Saskatchewan/Winnipeg CFL game drew more viewers on TSN than the MLS Cup did on ESPN in the entire United States. Not per capita, but straight up. This is a regular season game between two teams in provinces with a total combined population that is less than that of the Seattle MSA.

I hear you but 200K gets you cancelled in the USA. CFL TV #'s vs MLS #'s they are not comparable. If they were both leagues would be on the same traction and they are not.

TV numbers don't mean jack, Cash flow and assets do. CFL has eyeballs but no assets and not a lot of money coming in versus MLS that has more diverse money going in and out.

As we sit here and debate outdated metrics of TV numbers MLS shows more health and life than the CFL even though the MLS can't even pay people to watch its product. So obviously there is not a connection here that is as strong as we think.

CFL fans are older, and older people still watch TV.

MLS Fans are younger, and younger people don't watch TV

Any youth fueled product is going to not have the same volume via traditional media platforms.

If the CFL really had its act together it would find a way to dig deep into these numbers and expltroplate 200-500k, localize the regions and target the popular areas and then approach USA regional sports networks that would give it as much cash as TSN to air content. $40 million a year is nothing for these USA Regional Sports networks who pay upwards of $80 million for the same amount of viewers TSN gets for CFL games for MLB Baseball for example. Why isn't the CFL on Balitmore, Maryland Regional Sports - MESN - if there is an already established CFL base there?

I know the answer why of course, it is because CFL is run by old dudes who are in the stone age. MLS does this though.. this is the difference between the two leagues and why both are on different paths.

Here is another CFL business idea. Why do DAZN sports have the NFL digital rights? Why can't the CFL own them and then sell them off as a revenue source? Who cares if it's the NFL, it is football and can make you money - and hey you can package CFL and NFL digital games together. This is how you do sports in 2017, nobody cares about how man rabbit ears tune into games.

JHikka Dec 13, 2017 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8018114)
TV numbers don't mean jack, Cash flow and assets do. CFL has eyeballs but no assets and not a lot of money coming in versus MLS that has more diverse money going in and out.

As we sit here and debate outdated metrics of TV numbers MLS shows more health and life than the CFL even though the MLS can't even pay people to watch its product. So obviously there is not a connection here that is as strong as we think.

CFL fans are older, and older people still watch TV.

MLS Fans are younger, and younger people don't watch TV

It's a bingo.

Things like the value of MLS' jersey deal have increased tremendously in the past five/ten years, and with MLS adding more teams and more eyeballs these will only increase over time. Its deal with Adidas is more valuable than the deal NHL signed with them and began this year, and soon the franchise valuations will likely match that of the NHL.

Meanwhile, the NBA is monetizing online gaming (via 2K), and selling ad spots on physical jerseys as well as the online jerseys. This is another future avenue.

Sports on traditional TV is dying, which is why the NFL is signing multi-billion dollar deals for online video streaming and content.

The CFL's current TV deal with TSN is good, and there's still four more years on it, but i'm genuinely curious where TSN sees it going beyond that.

Hackslack Dec 13, 2017 11:05 PM

What assets do our Canadian MLS teams have?

esquire Dec 13, 2017 11:11 PM

I don't doubt MLS is doing well and has plenty of room to grow. 230K viewers is also not much for the CFL. But the big difference is that the US is basically a garnish, an afterthought for the CFL. It's filler content sold cheap to ESPN. By contrast, it's the MLS' bread and butter.

In my wildest dreams I would have never thought that a MLS Cup featuring a team from a big American city would only draw 800,000 viewers. Using the typical 10:1 US-Canada metric, it would be like a Grey Cup drawing 80,000 viewers. Which are basically local access cable numbers.

There have to be people watching streaming en masse, there is no other explanation for it.

jetsbackincanada Dec 13, 2017 11:34 PM

I Live here
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8018121)
I don't doubt MLS is doing well and has plenty of room to grow. 230K viewers is also not much for the CFL. But the big difference is that the US is basically a garnish, an afterthought for the CFL. It's filler content sold cheap to ESPN. By contrast, it's the MLS' bread and butter.

In my wildest dreams I would have never thought that a MLS Cup featuring a team from a big American city would only draw 800,000 viewers. Using the typical 10:1 US-Canada metric, it would be like a Grey Cup drawing 80,000 viewers. Which are basically local access cable numbers.

There have to be people watching streaming en masse, there is no other explanation for it.

I am certain that the passio for soccer in Canada is far greater, I live in Mpls, and I uber part time... Most people aren't even aware that the title game just happened. I would guess that Premier League games are as watched as local teams, and they are all a very distant cousin , to even the NHL, which does well in local markets... ANd as for NFL....
What is more watched....NHL in Canada or NFL here??

I am guessing they are quite comparable...

I also think that there is NOTHING in the US, to compare to Canada when it comes to viewership for Canada Cup, WOrld cup Olympic hockey. ???:runaway:

osmo Dec 13, 2017 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 8018118)
What assets do our Canadian MLS teams have?

There are common assets that all MLS teams enjoy.

Digital assets
Jersey Assets
MLS Cup
MLS All-Star Game
MLS also does promotional stuff that supposedly does well (They broker the North American Friendly games that Euro Clubs partake in)

It isn't unlike MLB that makes a handsome penny with its BAM Digital Media Company which all gets distributed around to each team.

The Canadian MLS teams do not own their stadiums if I remember as many of the American teams do (You can argue MLSE/TFC owns its facility with BMO Field as they get all the money that comes in and just cut the City a small cheque each year. The city owns it on paper but MLSE can does almost whatever it wants with BMO Field).

MLS and CFL team (the better ones), likely make comparable overall revenues to be quite honest. CFL is asset poor though which is the big difference between the two leagues.

MLS team vary widely with rich and poor, Columbus is poor and will be moving soon. MLS though has been smart to control costs and localize salaries, so each team knows what it is going to spend on player costs each year down to the dime.

CFL is healthy now, they have the cash to fund salaries every year but there are wild variances into what teams are actually worth, the Argos are not worth $5 million while the Riders could be worth $150 million theoretically. CFL is small enough that it can be agile, no reason it shouldn't be doing much better than it is.

There is the recurring narrative that TV deal money has peaked. We see ESPN bleeding and cutting staff because it has an albatross of expensive rights deals around its neck. TV Networks won't line up to throw billions at the leagues next time around as they have so these leagues if they are smart, are looking elsewhere for ways to produce revenues. MLS has been doing this from the start as it has never been able to bank on TV money like the NFL, so you could argue its already been prepared for this for quite some time.

le calmar Dec 14, 2017 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jetsbackincanada (Post 8018145)
I am certain that the passio for soccer in Canada is far greater, I live in Mpls, and I uber part time... Most people aren't even aware that the title game just happened.

Same in Ottawa, most people I’ve been talking to didn’t know that the title game happened this past weekend, let alone that Toronto were playing in the finals and ended up winning the cup (including me). I doubt it was ahot topic across the country this Monday.

osmo Dec 14, 2017 12:12 AM

It would be the same if Vancouver or Montreal won the MLS Cup.

MLS is a local/regional thing.

TFC is a big deal here in Toronto but I wouldn't think anyone in Saskatchewan or Nova Scotia would care one bit.

elly63 Dec 14, 2017 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 8018118)
What assets do our Canadian MLS teams have?

Well according to Forbes TFC had a minus 9 million EBITDA

https://i.imgur.com/eBnNgXf.png

elly63 Dec 14, 2017 12:37 AM

Have to laugh at jhikka and Osmo rationalizing with the same old unproven baloney. TFC and NBA fans are the only people not so decrepit as to have the ability to operate a smartphone. Football and baseball fans are woven into the fabric of their couches and yet somehow MLB has the best video and social media online presence of all the sports (built especially for seniors, I guess) :)


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