Soccer Watch: TV Contracts and Bidding Wars
Compared to the flurry of activity in January, it's been a relatively quiet week for Austin FC as they prep for their first MLS season, beginning April 3. They did answer one big question, though – where can you watch the team's games on TV? – by naming The CW Austin, KNVA, as the flagship station for the club's first two seasons, with partner stations KBVO and KXAN (our NBC affiliate) airing "any remaining regional broadcasts not on The CW Austin." Austin FC President Andy Loughnane stressed in a statement that it was important to them to have broad availability in HD via cable, satellite, and old-fashioned airwaves: "The depth of HD channel distribution of these three stations across the Austin region will ensure that 100% of Austin FC fans with televisions will have the opportunity to tune into 100% of all regionally televised regular-season matches."
Another piece of indirect good news came from up I-35, where FC Dallas made the biggest news of the transfer window by selling 19-year-old Bryan Reynolds to Roma for a club-record $8.12 million, with big conditional payments on top of that based on performance, and a 15% "sell-on" fee if Roma later moves Reynolds on for a profit. The Dallas homegrown product was one of 12 U.S. internationals moving to new clubs over the last few days, and that's great news for all the MLS owners. "There was a bidding war from Champions League teams for [Reynolds]," tweeted FC Dallas owner Clark Hunt, which has to be music to the ears of an Austin FC front office that's investing heavily in a lot of promising young players.