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MLS Forced Into More Job Cuts

T
he New York headquarters of Major Soccer League (MLS) have let go a further 20% of their full-time staff members.

The job cuts were reported to have been made in an attempt to alleviate some of the financial pressures caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in April, the MLS implemented a 25% pay cut to senior staff members, and let go of roughly 70 employees, among them was MLS commissioner, Don Garber.

Barcelona FC, among the most popular international football teams of 2020, was also recently forced to cut wages by 40%, going from a total wage budget of $1 billion to $621.8 million, suffering an after-tax loss of $157 million.

Following the pandemic, the MLS returned to play in July, with a tournament in Orlando taking place behind closed doors, before eventually returning to its regular season in August.

The league is anticipating revenue losses of over $1.3 billion and, as fans are still not yet able to physically attend games due to COVID-19, they are contemplating beginning their 2021 season as late as April.

The MLS has also announced a multi-year partnership with the artificial intelligence (AI) data specialist Second Spectrum, with the intention of enhancing its domestic broadcasts as it enters the 2020 postseason.

Second Spectrum, also the official tracking partner of the English Premier League, will be responsible for providing in-game analytics for live streams of the MLS cup playoffs to cater to fans viewing the games from home.

MLS senior vice president of media, Chris Schlosser, said: “Major League Soccer continues to be at the forefront of utilising data and technology to positively enhance the fan experience and bring fans closer to the game.”

“Working with Second Spectrum, we are pushing the envelope with what is possible when you combine the latest in machine learning and augmented reality technology,” Schlosser said.

Second Spectrum data had previously only been used for showing MLS match highlights.

MLS broadcast partners will offer digital streaming of live matches, partners include Fx Sports, ESPN, and Turner Sports.