Saturday, October 24, 2020

Soccer TV Ratings, Oct 16 - 22

I stayed close to soccer TV ratings back between 2012-16 but dropped off because it became pretty same-y. However, after the pandemic hit a spark was lit. Here I am now, again, tracking tv ratings. 

So, since June 2020 (when team sports returned after the lockdown), I've been filling up my little spreadsheets again with viewership data. I'll post here on a regular basis in front of new TV deals planned to come for MLS in the coming year. 

One last note. There is a lot more soccer on TV now than just a few years ago.


Top US Cable Soccer programs Thurs Oct 16 - Thursday Oct22
Viewers (000)Event/GameNetworkDate
554PREMIER LEAGUE L: SOUTHAMPTON/CHELSEANBCSNOct 17, 20
410PREMIER LEAGUE L: LIVERPOOL/EVERTONNBCSNOct 17, 20
397PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSNOct 17, 20
385PREMIER LEAGUE L: WEST HAM/TOTTENHAMNBCSNOct 18, 20
363PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSNOct 17, 20
205PREMIER LEAGUE L: WOLVES/LEEDSNBCSNOct 19, 20
197UEFA CHAMP LEAGUE: BAYERN VS. ATLETICOTUDNOct 21, 20
183UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAG: PARIS VS MAN UNITEDGALAVISIONOct 20, 20
182UEFA CHAMP LEAGUE:BARCELONA/FERENCVAROSITUDNOct 20, 20
167PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSNOct 18, 20
149PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSNOct 18, 20
143UEFA CHAMP LEAGUE: REAL MADRID/ SHAKHTARTUDNOct 21, 20
131MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER L: SEATTLE/PORTLANDFS1Oct 22, 20
124MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER: NASHVILLE/DALLASFS1Oct 20, 20
107PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSNOct 19, 20
85UEFA CHAMP LEAGUE: DYNAMO KYIV / JUVENTUSTUDNOct 20, 20
81MLS EN 60TUDNOct 17, 20
70UEFA NTN LGUE HIGHLIGHTSESPNOct 18, 20




Saturday, October 17, 2020

Crew Net Promoter Scores

Following up on yesterday's player ratings/evaluations (via WhoScored) we have my Net Promoter Scores (NPS). I used it last year and it told a good story. NPS is a measurement often used in retail environments. It's where you only look at bad customer reviews and the good while throwing out the middle bunch. It's very effective at getting you where you want to be and prevents you from wasting your time on meaningless things.

I've used it a few times over the years. Last year you can find it HERE

For WhoScored ratings, I use <6.00 as a BAD GAME. and >7.00 as a GOOD GAME. The basic math is 

BAD GAME / TOTAL GAMES = % BAD

GOOD GAME / TOTAL GAMES = % GOOD

% BAD - % GOOD = NPS

What that gives you a score between -100 and +100. In retail environments you want things to be +80. For the way I'm using it here, +50 or so is good enough.

+67% Lucas Zelar
+64% Darlington
+59% Pedro Santo
+50% Harrison Af
+50% Derrick Eti
+50% Héctor Jimé
+50% Vito Wormgo

+44% Gyasi Zarde
+41% Artur
+40% Aboubacar K
+33% Sebastian B
+30% Josh Willia
+29% Milton Vale
+28% Jonathan Me
+27% Eloy Room
+25% Luis Díaz
+18% Youness Mok

0% Chris Cadde
0% Aidan Morri
0% Fanendo Adi
0% Emmanuel Bo

-17% Andrew Tarb
-25% Fatai Alash

This is quite an improvement over last year where there were TEN players in the negative. None of the outfield players here are still with the team (GK's score a bit lower in general).

-11% : Alex Crogna : 9
-11% : Justin Mera : 9
-27% : David Guzmá : 11
-29% : Eduardo Sos : 7
-29% : J.J. Willia : 7
-33% : Patrick Mul : 9
-40% : Eloy Room : 5
-44% : Niko Hansen : 9
-50% : Joe Bendik : 6
-67% : Jon Kempin : 3

Friday, October 16, 2020

Crew Player Ratings, Candlestick

 

WhoScored player ratings. Columbus Crew. Starting role only. 

Above 7.0 is good. 6.5 to 7.0 is Average. Below 6.5 isn't good.

Columbus is struggling without Lucas Zelarayan, Darlington Nagbe, Eloy Room.

Milton Valenzuela should be doing better even without the missing players.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

MLS still lost in Development Woods

15 or so years ago MLS embarked on a journey to develop players itself instead of relying on college or ever-increasing expensive transfers for foreign lands. First with a Reserve League in the mid-aughts that got shuttered a few years later to - only rise again around 2011, before getting shut down yet again. 

I thought the 2011 version of the reserve league worked well for the Columbus Crew. It provided a needed competitive environment for a handful of players that helped take the team to the MLS finals in 2015.

After the 2nd fall of the MLS reserve league, the brain trust up in NY decided that every MLS should have a team playing in the USL. Be it a "II" or via affiliation. MLS boasted about how well this would work and required teams to participate. After a couple years most teams did have something. Others, like the Crew, not so much.

With the recent formation of "MLS Next," the league is now altering the plan yet again. It doesn't appear MLS is requiring its members to set up a reserve team (which is already morphing into a U23 team), but it is paving the road. Looks like they'll plop it in the 3rd tier on the busted up US Soccer pyramid.

WHY!?

MLS sees all other soccer in the US and abroad as competition. They will use the other domestic leagues when they have to, but ultimately, MLS wants them gone. With transfer demand for US-based players at a high, MLS is doing everything they can to make sure none of that money slips through their hands.

Imagine, if you will... a player in the USL with no affiliation to MLS transferring for a Pulisic or Davies type fee. This means a windfall of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, all at once. It would and could change the landscape of soccer in the United States in a matter of just a few years. Fees are one of the major (if not THE major) sources of revenue in the rest of the world.

On the whole, MLS teams DO NOT MAKE MONEY. The missing ingredient in the financial success of MLS is transfer fees and TV deals. They have neither. Gate, merch, sponsorships, and property are just enough for teams to scratch by. 

MLS needs transfer money and they sure as hell don't want to pay transfer money to the USL or any other league in the US.

Anyway, that is why they are doing this. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Crew Return to Earth

After some good fortune in the schedule and maintaining healthy bodies and minds, the Crew are finding themselves dropping back into the slog that is the 2020 MLS season.

Just a few weeks ago Caleb Porter had this 2020 team reaching highs that had not been seen since the 2009-2010 seasons. Five and ten-game rolling PPG's of over two points. Goal Differences in the double digits in rolling ten and twenty game patterns. As a team, you could even argue it is the best run for the team in the post shoot out era of MLS.

What goes up, however, must come down. Or, what was down, must come up and now back down again. Let's back up... It's important to remember that Porter's 2019 team reached all-time Crew lows in all these same categories. Five, ten, twenty game periods reached record lows. It's enough to leave your brain fried, but it's very "MLS" that after lows you get highs. Water finding its level. Regression. Whatever.

GOOD FORTUNE

The early-season schedule was very forgiving to the Columbus Crew where 1/3td of it has been against a poorly run Cincinnati team as well as perennial losers in Chicago. Yes, you still have to not be a horribly run franchise to get those results, but that is not exactly a high bar step over.

Columbus was also got a bit of good fortune in the health department. Well, at least until the last month. Perhaps it's the congested schedule, but the team's two best players have not been on the pitch enough in the last 6-8 weeks leading to a pretty average previous five games.

The schedule, once again, opens up for Columbus over the next few weeks at the ONCE AGAIN take on poor teams in Cincy and DC as well as painfully average and un-motivated NYCFC and Houston. 

WHAT'S NEXT

Just like any decent team in MLS, without the talent of their two best players in Darlington Nagbe and Lucas Zelarayan, the Crew look more like The Crew. Middling results around the 1.40 PPG and an even goal differential.

Things could be worse, I suppose. Even in over the last month Porter has been working in some of the younger players like Aidan Morris (who I think has some impressive qualities, just needs time) and Sebastian Berhalter (who I think is, what he is for now) all while not giving up too many spots on the table.

I expect the Crew to pick up a couple wins by the time we hit November, thus keeping the train moving until Nagbe and Zelarayan return for the playoffs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Top Soccer Shows on Cable (since restart)

Top 20 US Cable Soccer programs since the restart (June 27, NWSL)
Viewers (000)Event/GameNetworkDate
675UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: PARIS / BAYERNTUDN8/23/2020
668PREMIER LEAGUE L: ARSENAL/TOTTENHAMNBCSN7/12/2020
663LIGA MX SAT 2: AMERICA / GUADALAJARATUDN9/19/2020
557PREMIER LEAGUE L: LEICESTER/TOTTENHAMNBCSN7/19/2020
555PREMIER LEAGUE L: BURNLEY/LIVERPOOLNBCSN7/11/2020
550PREMIER LEAGUE L: CHELSEA/LIVERPOOLNBCSN7/22/2020
494PREMIER LEAGUE L: WEST HAM/ARSENALNBCSN9/19/2020
464MLS REGULAR SEASON L: ORLANDO/MIAMIESPN7/8/2020
458LIGA MX SAT 2: AMERICA / TOLUCATUDN9/12/2020
428PREMIER LEAGUE L: LEICESTER/BOURNEMOUTHNBCSN7/12/2020
403PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSN7/12/2020
402UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SAT: CITY / LYONNAISTUDN8/15/2020
400UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SAT: BARCA VS NAPOLITUDN8/8/2020
392LIGA MX SATTUDN9/19/2020
387PREMIER LEAGUE L: SOUTHAMPTON/PALACENBCSN9/12/2020
387PREMIER LG LIVE STUDIONBCSN7/11/2020
378FA CUP SOCCER L: NORWICH CITY/MAN UNITEDESPN6/27/2020
375PREMIER LEAGUE L: ARSENAL/ASTON VILLANBCSN7/21/2020
367PREMIER LEAGUE L: MAN UNITED/ASTON VILLANBCSN7/9/2020
365MLS REGULAR SEASON: PORTLAND/ORLANDOESPN8/11/2020



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Crew on ABC, MLS Returns to ESPN

Dust off your hardhat and get ready to fire up your Sony Trinitron TV - the Columbus Crew are going to host a nationally televised game on ABC on November 1st, 2020. This will effectively be a send-off for Crew Stadium as the team moves into her new home next year. 

MLS games on terrestrial television are a relatively rare thing. Usually, the only one fans get on ABC is the final, but even those stopped being regular there a decade ago. Only FOX, year in and year out, carry games. Even there, it's rare. Less than a handful each year.

MLS released the remainder of the league schedule yesterday. ESPN finally returns to host a couple of regular-season games for the first time since the summer bubble.

1 - ESPN Oct 11 Seattle / LAFC

2 - ABC Oct 25 LA's

3 - ESPN Oct 28 Portland  LAG

4 - ABC Nov 1 Crew v Philly

Outside of the Disney family of networks, FOX will host one more (along with FS1 having just a couple). Univision and TSN also have a few. All in all, however, MLS has been largely absent from the national TV landscape. No reason has been given, but it's likely due to the log jam of NBA, MLB, and College Football games.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Crew on Top

Columbus exits the 12th week of MLS play on top of MLS. First in Points per Game and 2nd only behind Seattle in Goal Difference per Game.

PPGClubGD
2.25Columbus1.33
2.00Philadelphia0.83
1.91Seattle Sounders1.45
1.83Orlando City0.75
1.83Toronto FC0.50
1.73FC Dallas0.64
1.67Sporting KC0.42
1.50Minnesota0.33
1.50Portland0.08
1.42NYC FC0.08
1.36LA Galaxy-0.09
1.33Montreal Impact-0.17
1.33Colorado0.00
1.25New England-0.08
1.25Vancouver-0.58
1.25LAFC-0.17
1.25Houston Dynamo0.08
1.17NY Red Bulls*-0.42
1.17Real Salt Lake-0.33
1.09Nashville*-0.36
1.00Cincinnati***-0.75
0.92Inter Miami-0.33
0.92Atlanta United*-0.42
0.92D.C. United-0.50
0.92San Jose*-1.33
0.75Chicago**-0.83

You have to go back about 11 seasons to find a Crew team performing this well after this many games. There is a caveat, however. 9 of the Crew's 12 games have been against pretty terrible teams.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

MLS Player Ratings, update

Here's a positional list of the top players according to my Helltown Player Rating System*. This system uses traditional stats ("box score") and mixes them with playing time and team position on the overall true table. Basically, if you are filling the box score and playing a lot on a good team? You'll do well here. This system was created to help me get to the better players fast without wasting my time endlessly sorting tables. It works!

Anyway, here we go. As of last night (September 18).

FORWARDS

Player ScorePlayer Name(TEAM)
10.00Gyasi ZardesCLB
9.82Raúl RuidíazSEA
9.25Kacper PrzybyłkoPHI
9.10Jordan MorrisSEA
8.56Diego RossiLAF


MIDFIELDERS

Player ScorePlayer Name(TEAM)
9.26Alejandro PozueloTFC
8.66Cristian RoldanSEA
8.25Darlington NagbeCLB
8.25Brenden AaronsonPHI
8.24Alejandro BedoyaPHI
7.97Ján GregušMIN
7.95Nicolás LodeiroSEA
7.91Jamiro MonteiroPHI
7.87ArturCLB
7.64Sebastian LletgetLAG


DEFENDERS

Player ScorePlayer Name(TEAM)
8.83Jonathan MensahCLB
8.29Kelvin LeerdamSEA
7.90AuroTFC
7.80Graham ZusiSKC
7.78Omar GonzalezTFC
7.72Harrison AffulCLB
7.67Reto ZieglerFCD
7.59Ray GaddisPHI
7.55Anton TinnerholmNYC
7.44Mark McKenziePHI


GOALKEEPERS

Player ScorePlayer Name(TEAM)
8.56Stefan FreiSEA
8.05Andre BlakePHI
7.72Pedro GalleseORL
7.39Quentin WestbergTFC
7.22David BinghamLAG


*SINCE 2011, the oldest and longest-running player rating system in MLS