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MLS on the middle of bidding war, and asking for a 700 percent increase in TV rights fees

MLS Commissioner Don Garber always gets media attention. PHOTO by CHRIS REIKO

MLS Commissioner Don Garber always gets media attention. PHOTO by CHRIS REIKO

ESPN’s non-exclusive deal with Major League Soccer is done in 2014. The MLS is currently trying to negotiate a new deal with Murdoch’s FOX Soccer Channel and is reportedly asking for a 700 percent increase in rights fees. Reportedly, Murdoch’s channel wants to just slightly more than double payments from $3 million annually to $7 million.

If you thought you heard a groan from the Walt Disney offices in Bristol, Conn., Manhattan and LA on Tuesday afternoon after the Federal Communications Commission approved the planned merger between the Philadelphia-based Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal, you weren’t imagining the sounds. The suits at Disney probably aren’t too pleased with the FCC’s decision to allow Comcast and General Electric’s Peacock network and other holdings to go to the altar and be wed.

How this will affect Major League Soccer exposure and tv rights fees revenue? In this huge merge soccer in general and MLS are really just a small pieces of big puzzle, but would or has already become subject to second bidding war on US sport market on tv. There is a big hope that soccer in general and MLS will benefit from this tv giants merge.

WATCH MLS Commissioner Don Garber recent statement about tv rights negotiation for 2011 season.

First bidding war will be about tv rights for NHL hockey, why?

Comcast and NBC have National Hockey League national cable and over-the-air TV rights. Disney, according to reports, would like to get a piece of the NHL’s cable TV deal. This could be the first bidding war between ESPN and Comcast. Comcast owns a team in the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers. Comcast also has the cable TV rights of a number of NHL teams including the Flyers on Comcast Sports Net, Philadelphia.

After all, Disney’s cash cow, the so-called “World Wide Leader in Sports” will more than likely get real competition since the folding of CNN Sports Illustrated in May 2002. FOX Sports does program local regional cable sports networks but really has never been an outright competitor to ESPN. Neither CNNSI nor FOX successfully challenged ESPN SportsCenter but that could change as Comcast has the ability to put on a national cable TV sports show as they are doing that locally with some of the company owned regional sports cable TV networks. READ FULL STORY by EVAN WEINER on NewJerseyNewsRoom.com

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