This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

MLS Has the Best All-Star Game No One Is Watching

PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- Major League Soccer is hosting an All-Star Game filled with World Cup talent in one of the most raucous venues in North America with help from sponsors who rarely see big-league action.

Of course nobody's going to watch it.

Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game in Portland should be riding a wave of World Cup momentum that saw an average of 18 million people watch U.S. national team matches and a record 29 million watch the final between Germany and Argentina. MLS is sending seven members of that U.S. men's team to the All-Star Game, including U.S. captain and Seattle Sounders standout Clint Dempsey, while the MLS All-Stars' opponent -- Germany's Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich -- includes seven members of German's World Cup championship squad and young U.S. men's team forward Julian Green.

The World Cup drew enough viewers this year to give U.S. audiences at least some knowledge of U.S.-based MLS stars including Michael Bradley (of FC Toronto), Kyle Beckerman (the one with the dreadlocks, Real Salt Lake) and Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City). They may even recognize the names of German stars on Bayern Munich including Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Phillip Lahm, Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Jerome Boateng -- if not Netherlands striker Arjen Robben.

Must Read: 5 Ways to Get Your Soccer Fix After the World Cup

What they certainly won't do is watch. While ESPN and Univision pulled in between 3 million and 4 million viewers per match apiece for much of the World Cup, regular-season MLS matches averaged 220,000 viewers on ESPN and about half that on NBC Sports Network. By comparison, the WNBA drew about 230,000 viewers for each of its games.

Bringing in the international superstars doesn't tend to help all that much, especially with ESPN burying the MLS All-Star game on ESPN2. The league drew just 319,000 to that network when its stars played Italian Serie A club AS Roma during All-Star game last year. Even that was down 530,000 from their All-Star matchup against Chelsea in 2012.

By comparison, the NBA All-Star Game was shown on Time Warner's TNT this year and still brought in 7.5 million. Fox drew 11 million viewers last month for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. That event has lost so much of its luster that half of its audience has disappeared in the past 20 years.

Those events still lag behind the National Football League's Pro Bowl, which drew roughly 11.7 million viewers to NBC this year despite playing an off-brand version of the sport that eliminated kickoffs, sped up the play clock and added two-minute warnings to the first and third quarters.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs