Saturday, June 19, 2021

ESPN's Euro 2020 Paying Off (MLS's slice getting smaller)

In 2016 ESPN paid $110 million for the rights to international European competition through 2022. That includes this year's European Championships as well as the Nations League tournament games. 

It's starting to look like a steal for the network as through the first 12 games it is nearly averaging 1 million viewers (934k) per match.

What does this look like compared to ESPN's deal with MLS? Well, ESPN and Fox pay a combined annual rights fee of $75 million for MLS and US national team (men and women) games. We don't know how much the NT games cost, but of the sake of argument let's say it is $25m per year. That leaves MLS getting an even $25m each from ESPN and Fox.

Back to the $110m for Euros. That's a six-year deal so it works out to be about 18m per year. Obviously, getting the Euro 2020 (played this year) is the tent pole event, but the Nations League games do ok in their own right. A best-guess estimate... I'd say half of that $110 million is for EURO 2020. We'll round out to $50m.

With that, we can conclude that both Fox and ESPN pay the same combined amount as ESPN alone pays for this year's Euro 2020 = $50 million.

If Euro 2020 continues at its pace of 900k viewers per game it will get close to 50 million viewers total (English language). Compare that to a combined total of 16 million viewers for all 80+ MLS games on cable in 2020.

Total Viewers, 2020
16 million: MLS (80+ games on cable)
45 million: Euro 2020 estimate (51 games)

Even if you add in the games MLS plays on traditional OTA TV it isn't getting close to what the Euro's does in a month of play.

Of course, there are other things to consider when considering what MLS provides to ESPN vs what MLS provides (year-to-year inventory, social metrics, etc). But this gives us an idea of what a slow sort of drip MLS is what is an ever-expanding, ever crowded soccer market in the United States.

Friday, June 11, 2021

How old are MLS logos?

With the leak of the new New England Revs logo, I decided to take a look at how old each brand logo was in MLS. Here are the results...

7.2 years: Average Age of an MLS logo

6.5: Median Age

11: MLS teams with a logo older than a decade

11: MLS teams with a logo less than 5 years old

16.5: Oldest logo, FC Dallas

Age - Team
16.5 - FC Dallas
15.5 - Real Salt Lake
14.5 - Toronto
14.5 - Colorado
13.5 - NY Red Bulls
13.5 - LA Galaxy
12.5 - Seattle Sounders
11.5 - Philadelphia
10.5 - Sporting KC
10.5 - Portland
10.5 - Vancouver
8.5 - Minnesota
7.5 - San Jose
6.5 - Orlando City
6.5 - New York City
5.5 - D.C. United
4.5 - Atlanta United
3.5 - LAFC
2.5 - Cincinnati
1.5 - Nashville
1.5 - Inter Miami
1.5 - Chicago
0.5 - New England
0.5 - Montréal
0.5 - Columbus
0.5 - Houston Dynamo
0.5 - Austin

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Best Defenders in MLS '21 (so far)

The top goal scorers/creators get a disproportionate amount of attention. It makes sense, as it's very easy to measure what their job is. For defenders? It's much less clear. So where is a good place to start? For me, the correct place to start is picking out as many skills a defender should have, measuring, then ranking. 

Tackling: % Won
Tackling vs Dribbles
Successful Pressures
Successful Pressures % Won
Blocked Passes
Completed Passes
Completed Passes %
Successful Dribbles
Successful Dribbles % 
Carries (Possession
Team Goals +/- per 90
xG +/- per 90

After deciding the above I ranked every player in MLS, took the avg of that and then teased out the Center, Right, and Left Backs.

Here are the best. The "Top 50" and "Top 100" is how many times they ranked there out of all MLS players.


Top 50Top 100PlayerPositionTeamSALARY
59Andreu FontàsCBSporting KC$ 1,125,000
58Nouhou ToloCBSeattle$ 125,000
26Auston TrustyCBColorado Rapids$ 375,000
58BressanCBFC Dallas$ 536,000
35Jesús David Murillo LargachaCBLos Angeles FC$ 400,000
36Ilie SánchezCBSporting KC$ 1,000,000
25Rodrigo SchlegelCBOrlando City$ 120,000
26Antonio CarlosCBOrlando City$ 840,000
34Yeimar Gómez AndradeCBSeattle$ 300,000
26Jack ElliottCBPhiladelphia$ 325,000
46Miles RobinsonCBAtlanta Utd$ 650,000
46José Antonio Martínez GilCBFC Dallas$ 600,000
16Boniek GarcíaCBHouston Dynamo$ 81,375
13Brendan Hines-IkeCBD.C. United$ 240,000
13Bill TuilomaCBPortland Timbers$ 220,000
37James SandsCBNYCFC$ 150,000
27Eddie SeguraCBLos Angeles FC$ 200,000
25Rudy CamachoCBCF Montréal$ 800,000
12Alexander CallensCBNYCFC$ 700,000
34Danny WilsonCBColorado Rapids$ 275,000
13Xavier ArreagaCBSeattle$ 393,600


Top 50Top 100PlayerPositionTeamSALARY
67Olivier MbaizoRBPhiladelphia$ 89,513
16Alistair JohnstonRBNashville$ 73,079
28Brandon ByeRBNew England$ 170,000
57Kyle DuncanRBNY Red Bulls$ 93,581
36Boris SekulićRBChicago Fire$ 571,000
14Tristan BlackmonRBLos Angeles FC$ 193,000
24Harrison AffulRBColumbus Crew$ 335,000
25Richie LaryeaRBToronto FC$ 200,000
34Keegan RosenberryRBColorado Rapids$ 285,000
46Romain MétanireRBMinnesota Utd$ 600,000


Top 50Top 100PlayerPositionTeamSALARY
56Diego PalaciosLBLos Angeles FC$ 432,000
58DeJuan JonesLBNew England$ 95,000
47Luís MartinsLBSporting KC$ 340,000
27George BelloLBAtlanta Utd$ 135,000
67Kai WagnerLBPhiladelphia$ 450,000
68Chase GasperLBMinnesota Utd$ 81,375
26Jorge VillafañaLBLA Galaxy$ 450,000
55Kyle SmithLBOrlando City$ 105,996
45Daniel LovitzLBNashville$ 385,000
56Claudio BravoLBPortland Timbers$ 300,000
36Julian AraujoLBLA Galaxy$ 140,000
57AuroLBToronto FC$ 360,000