MLS Primetime Thursday

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MLS Primetime Thursday
Mls primetime thursday.gif
Format Soccer
Starring JP Dellacamera
Rob Stone
Glenn Davis
John Harkes
Kyle Martino
Allen Hopkins
Alexi Lalas
Tommy Smyth
Julie Foudy
Country of origin  United States
Production
Running time 2 hours (2.5 hours select games)
Broadcast
Original channel ESPN2 (2007-2008)
Original run 20072008

MLS Primetime Thursday was the weekly presentation of Major League Soccer games on ESPN2 for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The program was presented by Adidas.

History[edit]

ESPN and MLS had previously had a contract where ESPN2 televised live games, usually on Saturday afternoons. Under the arrangement, no rights fee was paid, and MLS controlled production, advertising, and promotion.[1] Time slots varied under the deal, secured by Soccer United Marketing's providing of rights to the FIFA World Cup.[2]

For the 2007 season, an eight-year deal was signed with an $8 million rights fee. ESPN added several features in an attempt to improve presentation—high-definition broadcasts, a sky-cam for some matches, a virtual offside line, a ball tracer, a sideline reporter, and three commentators. For the inaugural season, 2006 FIFA World Cup announcers Dave O'Brien and Eric Wynalda served as play-by-play and analyst, respectively, with Allen Hopkins serving as the sideline reporter.[3] Tommy Smyth was later added as a co-analyst.[4] Glenn Davis and Rob Stone filled in for O'Brien on occasion.[5]

For the 2008 season, JP Dellacamera and John Harkes replaced O'Brien and Wynalda as the lead team[6] with Davis, Smyth, and Julie Foudy occasionally filling in.

Following the 2008 season, ESPN discontinued the Thursday programming, citing lagging ratings[7] and hoping to find better lead-in programming. It was replaced by the MLS Game of the Week, which rotated among a variety of nights and time slots.[8]

Ratings[edit]

After averaging 223,000 viewers during the 2006 season,[9] ratings increased slightly in 2007, to 289,000 viewers, including a regular-season high of 658,000 viewers for David Beckham's second regular season match. However, ratings dipped to 253,000 in 2008. Attendance often lagged, with few sellouts for the weeknight matches,[10] with marquee club Los Angeles Galaxy unable to host home matches at the Home Depot Center on Thursdays due to its agreement with California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Personalities[edit]

Play-by-play announcers[edit]

  1. Dave O'Brien (2007), lead
  2. JP Dellacamera (2008), lead
  3. Glenn Davis (2007-2008), secondary

Analysts[edit]

  1. Eric Wynalda (2007), lead
  2. Tommy Smyth (2007-2008), secondary
  3. John Harkes (2008), lead

Sideline reporter[edit]

  1. Allen Hopkins (2007-2008)

Studio team[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
MLS Soccer Saturday
1996-2006
ESPN2 Major League Soccer
MLS Primetime Thursday

2007-2008
Succeeded by
MLS Game of the Week