Big Soccer Match On Small Cable Network: All About Language Of Business

Some sports fans are pissed that they won't get to see the highly touted upcoming United States/Mexico soccer game on U.S. television next month.

Soccer and other sports fans seem to forget one crucial thing about the new digital media world: with new media attractions, comes media spillage.

NBC Universal's Telemundo bought up both English- and Spanish-language rights to the big game, airing the Spanish-language version on Telemundo network for its 60 million subscribers, and, in an unusual move, in English on its mun2 network, which has only 30 million subscribers.

The event looks to significantly boost Telemundo's young-skewing, thinly distributed mun2 network. It airs both English- and Spanish-language programming, but is not known for its sports programming.  

Still, Telemundo doesn't want angry viewers. If you are an English-speaking U.S. citizen, and you don't get mun2, you can use the second audio channel on your TV set to watch in English. Still, this doesn't please hard-core English-speaking soccer fans who'd rather the game be aired on a large broadcast network, or ESPN.

A bigger issue might be with the business decisions of the owners of the event.

Blame those organizers/rightholders who should have figured out a way to push for a deal with ESPN, or another big TV sports channel -- all to promote soccer as a bigger sports brand in the U.S. The real mistake is a missed business opportunity -- which could have been an added win (as in win-win) with prospective new soccer fans.

Perhaps the organizers have another perspective, though: maybe the all-powerful ESPN wanted to pay good -- but not great -- money for the one-time event.

In this new, vast video world, viewers need to avoid stepping in such media spillage. The proliferation of TV channels, streaming video Web sites, and other digital platforms all sound great.  But it's still the Wild West.

Certain things such as seem like a godsend to TV viewers who miss TV shows (and who don't have a DVR); other stuff seems an obvious outrage. It comes with the territory.



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