We keep hearing over and over again from the establishment (Gulati, Garber, Cordeiro and Carter) that the $30M per year guarantee that Soccer United Marketing (SUM) gives USSF is a great deal for the Federation.
Is it though?
It is very easy to look at that number and think of the stability that it provides the federation, the great things that $30M could do for soccer in this country and believe them.
Being from West Virginia I follow WVU quite closely. A few years back there was a lawsuit over the 3rd Tier broadcast rights and the bidding for them. I, just like thousands of other Mountaineer fans, followed along very closely and probably learned more about 3rd Tier broadcast rights than we really ever needed to. From following along closely to that saga, and knowing how much the University makes from a relatively small amount of media rights, I've always felt that the USSF National Team media rights deal was SEVERELY under performing.
WVU's 3rd Tier contract with IMG is for $9.1M per year for these media properties.
• Television rights to one football game per season and a handful of men’s basketball games that are picked over by the major networks
• Complete radio broadcast rights
• Coaches’ shows produced for television, radio and web streaming
• Television rights to all other WVU sports (the ones lovingly categorized as non-revenue).
• Rights to sell advertising signage and sponsorships
• Online content.
So... West Virginia has 1.8M people in it. An obviously small market. A total market that might not even put it at the top of the list if every resident was in one city and Jim Justice was trying to drop $150M to bring MLS to town.
One football game, a handful of basketball games, some coaches shows, radio broadcasts across the state, in stadium ads, and the website are worth $9,100,000 per year... these properties are normally being broadcast locally in state or on a regional sports network at the maximum.
The USMNT and USWNT both play between 15 and 20 games per year to national audiences. The USYNT's play quite a few games. They also offer the same opportunities for all the other media, signage, coaches shows, etc. (and does the SUM deal give up ticketing for the national teams?).
So for basically... 600% to 800% (if not more) of full national team NATIONAL broadcast inventory...
That regularly draw ratings larger than the entire population of the state of West Virginia...
SUM is only paying $30M, which is roughly 330% of the money...
This seems like a HUGE under delivery of media rights money in today's marketplace to the Federation.
By allowing SUM to not have to bid on these media rights deals USSF is missing out on how many 10's of millions, if not HUNDREDS of millions of dollars? We absolutely can not continue to let the fox in to the hen house. We need change at the top. We need a new media rights deal. We need to rid ourselves of the conflicts of interest that have led us to this situation.
Please vote for change in this election. Do what is right for soccer in this country.
Do not let Kathy Carter win. Do not let Carlos Cordeiro win.