17 January 2010
I’m normally not one who loves to say I told ya so, but today I just can’t help myself.
Back in August when the USA and Mexico squared off in Mexico City, I speculated here if NBC Universal was testing Mun2 to see if there was a potential audience on the channel for football. The rating by any measure was a profound success, and it was done again when Mexico played Trinidad and Tobago. At that moment I started to wonder aloud about how long it would take for us to see Mexican First Division football in English? Well according to Multichannel News, we have our answer. That date will be February 20th.
In a nutshell, Mun2 will start adding sports programming to it’s mix. Starting with mini ‘updates’ they will call Timeouts, the network will start updating it’s audience about weekend happenings in the world of sports. They will also be adding a Sunday show to be titled The MUN2 Sports Arena that will focus on highlights and interviews in the same manner Republica Deportiva on Univision does. However the biggest piece to their sports puzzle will be the broadcasting of football from Mexico’s top flight. Mun2 will broadcast over twenty matches from the top flight in English while NBC Universal sister station Telemundo will broadcast the same matches in Spanish.
No broadcast teams have been announced yet for these games. However, with Phil Schoen and Marcelo Balboa doing both Mexico/USA and T&T/Mexico last year, one would have to tip them to get some piece of this action once matches on the network commence.
In my humble view, this is as big a news story as it was when Premier League games stopped being sold on PPV at twenty bucks a pop. I firmly believe there is more interest in Mexican football than most in the United States will ever say in public, and this news will only start to bring them out of the woodwork. While no deal was able to be reached in time for the Bicentenario, I still believe it was a great idea to get this up as quickly as possible. With the TV contract expiring at the end of the Bicentenario, the ratings will be a great litmus test to see if it would be worth adding more games to the pile in time for the Fall season in Mexico.
The only issue right now to me is no deal has been reached yet for that fall season in 2010. I don’t think it’s an issue yet, but could be if we make it to the World Cup and no deal is reached yet. Honestly, I think the biggest issue in this contract is how many non Telemundo games we might see in English on Mun2. I don’t think we’ll see any of the games on FSE on Mun2 because of SAP capabilities. But other games in my mind are still up for grabs. Let’s just hope that contract is finalized soon and more games from south of the border have the ability to be televised in English.
So what do you make of this news? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.