With Fox committed to the Premier League and no longer involved nationally in the business of Major League Soccer, how does an MLS team get involved in what Fox is doing with their live Premier League broadcasts? After all, it's not as if the show itself is likely to address MLS news.
Simple, they buy advertising. That's exactly what DC United did locally during Sunday's Chelsea – Manchester United game, running their new season ticket commercial. It's also the pragmatic response to getting left out of the Premier League's party.
Courtesy of the reshuffling of broadcasters and the addition of NBC as a soccer network, there's going to be a distinct break between who mentions what during broadcasts. NBC has no interest in European leagues, but they're now showing MLS and US National Team games. ESPN has European leagues, MLS, and the National Team. Fox Soccer is now without MLS, but has the bulk of the Premier League coverage. GolTV has Germany, Italy, and Spain, with some overlap with ESPN Deportes. It's that overlap that's crucial for cross-promotion.
Fox itself used their Premier League broadcast to promote NASCAR with their national commercial choices. Other than it being on the same channel, there's an open argument for any crossover audience between the two sports. The studio team on the Premier League broadcast mentioned the Super Bowl, a Fox property. The Super Bowl crosses over with just about every American audience, making the mentions more beneficial to putting the quality of the Premier League over.
Lost, of course, was professional soccer in the United States. No stake means no coverage. Where that doesn't exist, advertising becomes a way into the conversation. DC United and any of the other US-based MLS clubs seeing that opportunity and taking advantage deserve a lot of credit. It's not a typical MLS move. Then again, until the changes in broadcast partners we've seen over the last few months, it also wasn't necessary.
Corner Rating: (1-11 with 1 questioning the value of an MLS commercial running locally during a Premier League game and 11 sending a congratulations card to the club) 10
Last Week's Corner: Stays 1, unless you want to make the argument for widespread excitement for the February 26th League Cup final. Hey, at least the FA Cup isn't playing a round that weekend. The Fifth Round is Feb 18th with the Sixth on March 17th.