The WUSA folded on Monday. With the Women’s World Cup scheduled to start this weekend, the only surprise was the timing. The writing was already on the wall as the three year old professional women’s united soccer association was aired on the PAX cable station with insufficient corporate sponsership. But I have to wonder what this portends for MLS.
The WUSA had an attractive product with top notch talent playing an attractive style of soccer. But the league needed television to build an audience and provide a advertising platform for corporate sponsership and all it came up with was PAX. Soccer just isn’t a good match for US viewing tastes. It doesn’t have predictable stoppage time. It’s low scoring, and the goal scoring tends to develop and occur very quickly. This is all great when you’re watching the game in person. But not quite what a football, baseball and basketball trained TV audience is prepared for.
I think that the US soccer audience cannot be built by TV. It needs to become an live event with TV supplying overflow capacity for those unable to attent in person. The MLS focus on soccer only stadiums is a big step in the right direction. I just don’t know if they got started soon enough.