More Cosmos Troubles? ONE World Sports furloughs employees

ONE-World-Sports

by JAKE NUTTING

A report from Awful Announcing suggests that ONE World Sports, the exclusive holder of broadcast rights to New York Cosmos matches, is in the same uncertain waters as the Cosmos this week after placing many employees on furlough.

Sports writer and ONE World Sports contributor Graham Ruthven added to the mounting rumors that the fledgling network could be in its final days when he confirmed the furloughs and shared through social media that he’d been informed by the company  it no longer had need of his services.

The Cosmos and ONE World Sports sharing a similar fate should come as no surprise, considering the common ownership of the two entities. Cosmos Chairman Seamus O’Brien co-founded the network with the intention of building up an impressive portfolio of media rights. Building the Cosmos and the NASL up to Division I status was meant to be a part of that. But as this week has shown, things have not gone according to plan.

As the Cosmos have failed to make big enough waves in their own market while in the NASL, ONE World Sports has also struggled to make a name for itself. The network’s varied slate of international sports has not been enough to garner the type of interest from viewers or distribution platforms its founders initially hoped for. ONE World Sports picked up a win when it struck a deal with AT&T for coverage on DirectTV earlier this year, but that positive news came just a few days after the less encouraging development that it had been dropped by DISH.

Complaints about the exclusivity of Cosmos matches on ONE World Sports and the network’s poor streaming quality have been frequent from fans around the league. The NASL took a step forward this season by inking broadcast partnerships with beIN Sports and CBS Sports Networks, but those deals were somewhat dampened by the fact that the Cosmos, the strongest brand in the league’s ranks, were left off the schedule for each match broadcast on those networks during the regular season due to their deal with ONE World Sports.