Thursday, July 06, 2006

Soccer needs to stay on XM

Jim Williams: What happens to XM after
World Cup?
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 6, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 17 mins ago)
So the big question that I keep getting asked is, “What happens to XM World Cup Channel’s 148 on
the English side and 147 on the Spanish side on July 10, the day after the World Cup?
At this point no one knows.
For more than one glorious month, soccer fans have kept the lights flashing and the phone lines
burning from 6 a.m. (World Cup This Morning with Bill McDermott and Judah Cooks) until 11p.m.
(Dave Ungrady and World Cup Tonight).
All day long there has been the gang in Germany — Dave Johnson, Manny Lagos, Sean Wheelock,
Phil Schoen, Jeff Agoos and Christopher Sullivan — not only doing a wonderful job of calling
every World Cup game and but also doing pre- and post-game shows with callers from all over the
United States and Canada.
Thousands of calls went through XM and the soccer nation connected with the hosts.
The bottom line is that XM has done such a wonderful job that soccer fans and the people who have
recently become fans of the game do not want the channel to go away.
Now is not the time to shut it down.
The best plan is to sign a long-term deal with the MLS to carry their games, also add some games
from the Spanish, Italian and German leagues in a partnership with Gol TV and maybe the Fox
Soccer Channel.
Don’t forget that many of the callers have been from Maryland, and fans of the indoor game the
league champion Baltimore Blast. So airing the indoor game would add more fans and create mor
There is also college soccer, and since you have deals with the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-10, that’s a
very good start.
The point is, you created a wonderful bilingual soccer monster. Do not be foolish and let it go away.
If XM doesn’t, others will.
SIRIUS owns the Premiership games and air them on the weekends. Plus they do a daily soccer
show on their networks and their reprsentatives told me they will welcome the audience that XM
The soccer nation is out there. The real question is will XM build on their success or allow SIRUS to
take the audience away from them?
take the audience away from them?
Soccer fans can let their feelings be known at
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can email
Jim at

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