The last time that I wrote about the coverage of soccer in the North American media it was to be largely critical of the way that game is treated by those in charge of bringing the “product” to the masses.
Yet there is one area of the media in which Major League Soccer outstrips its European rivals by some distance.
Go to the MLS home page and you will find easy access to a plethora of video that would make the people in charge of the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga blanche at the sheer amount of free stuff that is available there.
The EPL official site, for example, may have no shortage of video but it almost solely consists of bland interviews with managers and players.
On the MLS official site however not only can you find extended highlights of recent games but also the replay of a goal that happened just a few minutes ago! How much would we all love to have access to that on a big European weekend?
Throw in the Match Day Live package that allows you to watch any game online for under $50 dollars and this starts to read unnervingly like an infomercial for the site.
Of course the realities of the financial world are coming in to play here; MLS just isn’t the financial behemoth that some other leagues are, and it certainly can’t command the television deals that others can, but credit should go where credit is due.
They have set up an easy to navigate, fan friendly, site that goes some distance in achieving its main aim of making the sport easily accessible to the supporters.
It certainly stands up well against the official website of the Scottish Premier League which looks like it was put together on a “Website Design For Beginners” course and features no video at all (or of it does it is too hard to find) and I can guarantee that no matter how bad Major League Soccer coverage is as a whole, it has never put out anything quite as excruciating as this BBC, web only, soccer show.
In short, Major League Soccer’s official website shows a degree of respect for the supporters of the game that puts a good number of its own clubs to shame.
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