So this happened, and I’m paid a small, grandmother’s purse worth of rupees to “Have An Opinion About It.”
Which is: about effing time. Still, many smart bloggers like Aaron Stollar for example express some caveats. Not that I’m the best authority on this, but I think I can at least answer some of the concerns. So this isn’t a Fisk in the “Let’s Make an Ass Out of This Joker” sense, but more an attempt to add another useless layer of speculation (remember the rupees).
How are the clubs going to feel about the scheduling of another international tournament during a period when they feel their players (their assets) must rest?
Um, probably pretty shitty. But really, is this now the benchmark for these things? Particularly in CONCACAF? Ideally Copa America in 2015 in Chile would have been cancelled, but then Chile would be SOL far, far too close to the tournament proper. So the clubs can deal. And likely will deal.
Will the big countries be able to call up their full squads? The answer to this question will be critical to the value of the TV rights, especially for the English language US rights. (Mexico could send a Oaxacan regional U17 team to this event and, as long as they’re wearing the green and red, Univision or Telemundo will pay millions for the Spanish language TV rights).
Yes, because FIFA will obligate the clubs to release eligible players called up if they are healthy. If there’s pressure not to release players, it should be for the 2015 Copa tournament. South America would love, LOVE to open up to US markets.
More locally, what will MLS do during this period? You can be sure that most teams will find their starting lineups decimated by the loss of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL players and if MLS elects to carry on playing during this tournament, it only goes to show that the league doesn’t value its regular season product whatsoever.
Yup. Sepp will just shrug his shoulders and remind everyone about how much simpler it would be if MLS moved to a winter calendar.
I know it’s a long ways off, but who is going to televise this event? The Gold Cup has barely made a ripple in the national (English-speaking) conciousness thanks to its deal with FSC and meanwhile the Copa America is hardly available (in English) to American viewers at all. Will the powers that be organizing this new event prioritize exposure or just take whoever gives them the most cash in the brown envelope? If it’s the latter, it’ll be a major missed opportunity for the sport. An event like this should be on ESPN, even if it might take the network a little while to realize that a major soccer event doesn’t have to have Europeans involved in it for it to still matter in the eyes of fans. I can see this conversation between an organizer and an ESPN executive.
Whichever network gets the rights, all they’ll need to do is show highlight clips of Messi and Neymar and Clint Dempsey over and over and over and over and etc…
On the network question, I think in comparison to Euro 2016, the rights deal will come as a bargain and therefore will be a worth a punt. The powers that be might be stupid enough to hand it to beIN Sports or something and take their bag of cash, but this should be about growing the CONMEBOL product in NA.
Also, if this tournament goes well and is as popular with fans how are they going to put the proverbial genie in the bottle, especially in the CONCACAF countries? I don’t understand why CONMEBOL has gone with this sort of “stutter-step” move of calling it a one time thing. I would have rather seen CONMEBOL do the hard-work of carving out the schedule for this event with CONCACAF, FIFA and the big European Clubs now and then introduce this tournament as a longer-term event. We’ll see if this event suffers because of this lack of front-end effort. I certainly hope not.
I agree with this in theory, but again, there was no way CONMEBOL was ever going to just pull the plug on Chile 2015. As for the genie in the bottle thing, do we want the genie back in the bottle? Isn’t this for the best? The Gold Cup, with all due respect, is a glorified friendly between the US and Mexico.
As for the “stutter step,” what if they did the hard work and then the first tournament was a total disaster for all involved? This at least gives both confederations the means to test the waters, audience numbers, rights package, etcetera. It’s not ideal, but it forces a lot of hands all at the same time. Sometimes the best way to get these things done is to do them.
If you follow…