With the 2017 Major League Soccer campaign reaching its latter stages, Orlando City UK took this moment to reflect on how many Lions fixtures Sky Sports have decided to air this year.
Having played 25 of 34 regular season fixtures so far, the reassuring news is that Sky Sports have shown ELEVEN live Orlando City SC games to date.
You don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that nearly half our 2017 fixtures played so far have been shown live on the telly.
Nice work Sky Sports!
LIVE Orlando City SC fixtures on Sky Sports in 2017
5th – vs New York City FC (HOME) – Sky Sports 2
1st – vs Columbus Crew (AWAY) – Sky Sports 3
9th – vs New York Red Bulls (HOME) – Sky Sports 3
15th – vs LA Galaxy (HOME) – Sky Sports 3
23rd – vs New York City FC (AWAY) – Sky Sports 3
29th – vs Colorado Rapids (HOME) – Sky Sports Mix
21st – vs New York City FC (HOME) – Sky Sports 2
21st – vs Atlanta United (HOME) – Sky Sports Main Event
29th – vs Atlanta United (AWAY) – Sky Sports Main Event
5th – vs Montreal Impact (AWAY) – Sky Sports Football
19th – vs Columbus Crew (HOME) – Sky Sports Football
UK MLS access the best its ever been
With a TWELFTH live Lions game being aired on Sky Sports Football this weekend when Vancouver Whitecaps travel to Orlando City Stadium, access to live City fixtures has never been this good.
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) August 22, 2017
Here at Orlando City UK, we’re convinced that Orlando City SC are the best supported MLS franchise in Great Britain and Sky Sports’ game selections underline this point.
While we understand the likes of Alan Curbishley and David Prutton are often drafted in late to join Dave Farrar and Gary Taphouse in commentating on MLS fixtures, Sky Sports’ coverage has been improving.
Make no mistake, league oversights and glaring errors do still occur but for newbies, Sky Sports’ live televised MLS games are more educational than ever before in 2017.
Improvements we’ve noticed this year include half-time hot takes on each club’s history as well as interactive maps of each team’s location at the start of broadcasts.
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) May 21, 2017
What is Sky Sports’ game selection process?
While I can’t be 100% sure about Sky Sports’ algorithm and how they select which live Major League Soccer games to show, it’ll always have something to do with form.
Right now, Sky Sports release listings of live Major League Soccer fixtures on a month by month basis.
Naturally, if you’re battling near the top of the Western or Eastern Conference, you’re of course more likely to be on TV.
That’s why you’ll find many games involving Toronto FC and Chicago Fire have been chosen this year but other factors must surely play a part too.
As we all know, MLS sides with star names such as Sebastian Giovinco, Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Villa and Kaká are much likely to draw in UK viewers.
Not only that but particular North American cities are more frequented by Brits than others.
Naturally, you’d imagine more British football fans would be interested in a New York City FC, Los Angeles Galaxy or Toronto FC fixture than say an FC Dallas or Columbus Crew encounter.
Much like the case for player recruitment in Major League Soccer itself, the traditional midwest franchises have often struggled to attract big names like clubs in the global coastal cities can.
The UK Orlando City SC market
With Orlando City SC a club in superb form throughout March and April, Sky Sports’ television coverage reflected this.
Indeed, ALL of the Lions’ April fixtures (see list above) were shown live during that month.
Despite the Lions’ fortunes disappointingly trailing off since then, Sky Sports have continued to show a steady stream of live Orlando City SC fixtures however.
As we’ve already discussed, this is likely to be due to Orlando being one of Brits’ favourite U.S. holiday destinations with many familiar with The City Beautiful.
We also like to think that Orlando City UK’s activities has contributed to increased British engagement with not only Orlando City SC but Major League Soccer as a whole.
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) April 4, 2017
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) April 18, 2017
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) April 24, 2017
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) July 28, 2017
2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣7️⃣ #MLSAllStar Game | ?
LIVE on @SkySports Football from 0️⃣2️⃣:0️⃣0️⃣! ??⚽️
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) August 2, 2017