A League on Its Own: Major League Soccer’s Decision to Ignore Calls to Move to a European Model

A League on Its Own: Major League Soccer’s Decision to Ignore Calls to Move to a European Model

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  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

The recent decision by Major League Soccer (MLS) to turn down a lucrative media rights deal – one that is four times the size of its current deal – because of the stipulation that the league adopt a promotion and relegation system favored by other global soccer leagues lends itself to an interesting discussion about growth strategies for the still young but growing league. The league is hoping to expand to 28 teams and seems to be heading in the right direction. Team valuations are up, and fans are filling MLS stadiums regularly. But league television ratings still fall behind the English Premier League and Mexico’s La Liga MX, and the operating incomes of teams are dwarfed by other U.S. professional sport franchises. International stars ...

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