The Sunday: A Bad Week

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Dempsey Sent Off

US National team star Clint Dempsey was suspended three matches by MLS for his actions which led him to be sent off during a US Open Cup match last week. Dempsey took the referee’s notebook, tossed it and then picked it up and ripped it in half.

It’s not a good look for Dempsey or MLS. Apparently if a player takes the referee’s notebook it is supposed to trigger a six match ban and is considered an act of assault.

 

Fox Fails At Golf

A couple of topics for discussion during this years US Open at Chambers Bay. Most have to do with the golfers or the course (which a lot of players say is just terrible) and another is with Fox Sports’ coverage. Covering golf is a new thing for Fox and it showed during the tournament. Upsetting fans seemingly at every turn. From the leader board crashing to a vignette of Jason Dufner going to Seahawks practice instead of showing actual golf.

ForTheWin probably has the best summary of the coverage and well worth the read. While some argue that golf needs to get younger no golf fan young or old turns on the TV because you have a drone. They tune in to watch Rory McIlroy nail a 72 foot putt

 

The One You Want Back

Max Scherzer was literally one strike away from having Major League Baseball’s 24th perfect game. That one pitch that ended up hitting Pittsburgh Pirates pinch-hitter Jose Tabata. Ouch. It’s not all bad news for Scherzer, he did get the no hitter and lowered his ERA to 1.76 while retiring 54 of the last 57 batters he has faced. 

The Least Popular Can Be The Most Innovative

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard
The US Open Cup is one of the longest running professional sports competitions in North America. This years installment is the 100th edition and with it comes live streaming. Free live streams of all of the games in the 4th round of the tournament.
Most overlook the US Open Cup with such a busy sports time in North America it’s easy to do. With the Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, US Open, World Cup Qualifiers, Major League Baseball and the College World Series. TV networks have plenty to choose from and the US Open Cup isn’t going to pull the same numbers the Stanley Cup Finals or NBA Finals are. However there is a market for the US Open Cup and a low cost solution is available to let fans around the country watch the matches.
USOC SCHEDULE
This is really a perfect storm of opportunity. No TV deal, low production costs, existing bandwidth and an unserved viewer. The one caveat is the bandwidth. If dedicated, high-speed bandwidth isn’t available then the viewer may just turn away.
There is no TV deal for these matches which means that the clubs and US Soccer can try all kinds of new things to let viewers watch the matches. Several platforms are available but most clubs opted for either YouTube or Ustream. YouTube allows channels with 1,000 subscribers to stream video which lowered the barrier of entry even more for content creators.
You continue to hear noise from media companies about TV Everywhere and second screen experience. The clubs in the US Open Cup, whether the New England Revolution or the Carolina RailHawks, took an obvious leap with free live streaming of the Cup matches. That leap, giving the fans what they want. No log ins, no sign ups, and no restrictions.