Wednesday, May 6, 2009


If you haven't heard, the commissioners of the four major North American sports leagues sat down with Sam Walker of the Wall Street Journal to discuss a wealth of topics ranging from the effects of the recession to who has season tickets for teams in other leagues.

An interesting part of the discussion centered around the global reaches of these leagues - more specifically, the NBA - compared to soccer/football. Outside of fans of the sport and interested business partners in media and advertising, few in the United States are aware of how it has grown in exposure over the past few years. The very fact that ESPN (which has secured rights to nearly everything imaginable that isn't the NHL in the past two years) lost the rights to broadcast the UEFA Champions League to FOX Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports a few weeks ago shows that the game is starting to gain a foothold in a country whose apathy is well-documented.

Yet, there's a prevailing thought, according to questions posed to the commissioners by Walker, that soccer is taking North American turf without even saying thank you while 'our' leagues may need to invest more resources internationally.

While I encourage you to watch the entire series, I would love to know your thoughts on this issue; has soccer/football stolen the thunder of the North American leagues? Should baseball, the NFL and the NHL continue to follow the NBA's lead in trying to build a successful global presence? More importantly, does soccer's growth north of Mexico actually stunt the other leagues or is there plenty of room at the table?

Also, as you may have noticed, there's a new poll, which in part was inspired by this gathering.

Don't be shy. All thoughts are welcome as usual.

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