Friday Mailbag let’s gooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Let’s start here. Because it was announced this very afternoon that there will not be a TV deal, because the Fire have decided to sell their local TV rights to ESPN, and will be on ESPN’s OTT streaming service ESPN+, which will cost $4.99 a month. The service at launch will be available on desktop, android, iOS, and Chromecast, with presumably more coming in the future, like to gaming consoles and such.
For that $4.99 a month, you also should get access to every out of market MLS game, because the former MLS Live is joining the servace as well. You’ll have access to other ESPN owned sports properties, including the 30 for 30 archive. Watch the one on Hillsborough. It’s sad and depressing and very very good. This also means we get the ESPNs, music, graphics, and chyrons; which I think are far superior to NBCSN’s, so there’s that.
If you’re scoffing at the price, Here are some numbers for comparison, Netflix is anywhere from 9 to 14 dollars a month. Hulu dances between 7 and 12 dollars a month. The WWE network is $9.99 a month, New Japan World, and Crunchyroll are all between 7 and 9 bucks a month. This is the low low end of paid content.
For those of you interested in the tech bits, it’s being run by BAMTech, which split off from MLB Advanced Media and owned by Disney. It is the premier streaming developer for live sports in the United States, running streaming services for HBO, NHL, the WWE, and League of Legends; as well as the PlayStation Vue cable replacement service.
As to why do this? Well, they’re getting paid for it. They were paying a fee to CSN/NBCSNChi for their games to be broadcast on, and it was a huge chunk of their marketing budget. This means more money for facilities, youth development, and maybe they can afford Levy’s to run their concession stands and bring back ice cream nachos. (They should keep the RC, though)
I think that’s everything. Drop any other questions you have in the comments, and someone will answer them.
Not really, no. It seems from everything I’m seeing that Brad Friedel is content having him ride the pine. Unless the league steps in, he’s not going anywhere. There’s really not all that much to say, unfortunately.
Nemanja Nikolic is still very good at scoring goals. Last year was not a fluke. Expect him to have another run at the golden boot. Our back four look pretty strong, and for once, it’s not something we have to worry about. Djordje and MdL will be back at some point this year. Speaking of our favorite Dutchman....
Another journalist once said something to me about things like this “If what’s being talked about doesn’t describe you, then he’s not talking about you.”
Michael De Leeuw is not talking about the fans who stand in Section 8 or Sector Latino. He’s not talking about the rest of the hardcore who do do all those things he said that they don’t do. He’s talking about the people who are there on Groupon dates or snap off discounted tickets, go once a year, and forget the team exists.
And let’s be real, there are more of them then there are of us. He’s talking about the people who are not going to read this, or Fire Confidential, or subscribe to the Athletic. You know these people, and deep down, you know on some level, he’s right. If he wasn’t, then the things happening in Section 8 and Sector Latino would be happening all over the stadium. I also want it to be known, casual fan, that it’s OKAY to be a casual fan. It’s okay to go to Toyota Park once or twice a year on a nice summer Saturday night and enjoy yourself.
The club needs people like you. And anyone who tells you different can get stuffed.
Last year, the Fire finished with 55 points and in 3rd place. NYRB finished with 50 points and finished 6th. So the question you’re really asking is “Are the Fire going to make the playoffs?” The answer is maybe? So I’m going to take the under, but If I were in Vegas, I’d also hedge a bit the over. (P.S., never set an over/under with a round number, because you will lose money if someone pushes)