MLS Looks For Big-City Clubs To Bring League Increased Revenue
MLS' next round of media rights fees, once its current deals expire at the end of '22, will be "bigger if the league's big-city teams are winning and popular," according to Jonathan Tannenwald of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The "star-studded Galaxy-LAFC rivalry has become the league's top TV attraction," which will be "even more of a spectacle" with the Galaxy signing F Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. Two Galaxy-LAFC games will air on ABC and Fox. Meanwhile, Atlanta United is "pulling its weight as the capital of the South," while the Fire are "moving from the suburbs" of Chicago back to Soldier Field downtown. They also "have a big-money new owner in Joe Mansueto." Expansion club Inter Miami CF has "South American flair on the field and David Beckham in the owner's box." Still, in many big markets -- including Philadelphia, N.Y. and Boston -- MLS is "sometimes barely on the radar." MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "We have, unfortunately throughout the years, had some of our smaller markets be our most popular teams. And that's great, but we've got to get our bigger markets. ... I'm looking forward to seeing them be more successful." He added, "A lot of our new markets are driving enormous energy league wide, and some of our legacy markets are taking a look at it and saying, 'You know what? If they can do it there, we ought to be able to do it here'" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/20).