Schramm Marketing, Integrated Sports Pitch PPV World Cup Qualifying Matches7/19/2011 10:20 AM Eastern
In the soccer world, the ball rarely stops rolling. As the U.S. is left to lament what might have been in the Women's World Cup final against Japan, the next cycle for the men's 2014 tournament in Brazil is right around the corner.
World Cup qualifying in the western hemisphere for CONCACAF (North and Central America) and CONMEBOL (South America) will begin this September.
The vast majority of those contests will be available to futbol fans via pay-per-view in the U.S. and Canada. Integrated Sports Media has secured the rights to more than 40 CONCACAF WC qualifiers from Traffic Sports USA, while Schramm Marketing Group, through a pact with rights-holders Full Play Group and Al Jazeera Sports, is representing 72 CONMEBOL matches.
Both Integrated Sports and Schramm Marketing (which works with Multichannel News' parent NewBay Media on various events) have contacted various pay-per-view distributors, including In Demand, Avail TVN, DirecTV and Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, about proffering the matches but have yet to conclude any deals.
A spokeswoman for In Demand, which has carried the WC qualifiers in previous cycles, said the content purveyor is talking to both parties: "We're definitely interested, but there are no commitments or contracts yet."
Doug Jacobs, president of Integrated Sports Media, the Hoboken, N.J. -headquartered sports television, athlete marketing and corporate consultancy, expects residential PPV to be the primary revenue driver for this property, accounting for 75% of those funds. He says matches will carry a suggested retail of $24.95, but it would be to the distributors to determine whether they want to sell more multiple match subscription packages.
Jacobs said that 24 nations will comprise six groups, the winners of which will join the U.S. Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Cuba and Honduras in the final CONCACAF qualifying stage.
First-round telecasts airing between September and November feature such teams as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti.
From June through October 2012, Integrated Sports will proffer second-round action showcasing action with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Canada, Costa Rica and Panama.
Finally, as the 2014 World Cup gets closer and teams are battling it out for their spot in soccer's biggest and most important event, Integrated Sports delivers hexagonal (final) round qualifying action that will determine three berths for the World Cup. The final round matches take place between February and October 2013, leading up to the World Cup in Brazil. The CONCACAF draw - three teams will qualify for the 2014 final, with a fourth vying for entry -- will take place in Rio de Janeiro on July 30.
The CONCACAF package does not include matches involving the region's two big clubs, the U.S. and Mexico. Most of Sam Army's rights belong to ESPN, while Mexican matches are the province of Univision (home) and Telemundo (away).
As for CONMEBOL, the region includes world power Argentina and FIFA World Cup semifinalist Uruguay, as well as Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. As the host nation in 2014, Brazil, whose five World Cup titles are the most ever, gains automatic entry into the final and doesn't have to qualify. As such, each country will play the other in home and away matches, with three others joining Brazil in the tourney and a fourth competing for entry.
Joe Schramm, principle of Schramm Marketing, said his company has been working with Full Play -- which has gained the rights to the 2015, 2019 and 2023 Copa America tournament, whose rights were previously held by Traffic Sports with the current tourney airing on Univision Communications networks - since 1999. The last round of CONMEBOL WC qualifying matches were represented by Sports Capitol Partners.
Schramm Marketing and Integrated Sports will also look for distribution in restaurants/taverns serving Hispanic communities.
And streaming could also be part of the pitch.
"No distribution platform is out of the question," said Schramm. "Our job is to maximize revenues for our clients."