Report: Mediacom’s Rocco Commisso In Line To Buy Cosmos

IMAGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS/MIKE MCLAUGHLIN

by JAKE NUTTING

Some things never change.

The individual fates of the New York Cosmos and the North American Soccer League could be tied together once again, according to a string of tweets from The Telegraph’s Bob Williams on Wednesday night.

Williams cited a highly-placed source saying the U.S. Soccer Federation will make a decision on sanctioning at the second and third divisions by the end of the week, which rings true with EoS’ report from earlier on Wednesday. The NASL receiving a positive outcome from that decision apparently hinges on the league solidifying eight teams for the 2017 season, with the Cosmos being the eight and final piece that has yet to fall into place for the league.

After months of trying to line up a buyer, the Cosmos might have found their man in Mediacom Chairman and CEO, Rocco Commisso. Per Williams, though, Commisso’s interest in the Cosmos is contingent on the NASL receiving second division sanctioning by the federation. Rumors of a buyer of the Cosmos have persisted for weeks, but EoS was unable to confirm Commisso as of this report.

Commisso would be a shift toward local ownership for the historic Cosmos, who have been owned and operated by Chairman Seamus O’Brien and Sela Sport throughout their time in the reboot NASL. The 67-year-old immigrated to the U.S. at 12 and attended high school in the Bronx before eventually graduating from Columbia University. Commisso worked at Cablevision for nine years until the company’s merger with Time Warner in 1995. After that he founded his current company Mediacom, which is now the fifth largest cable television company in the country.

The cable television executive also has strong ties to soccer. Commisso played soccer all four years at Columbia and has remained a big booster of the program since he graduated in the early 1970s. The university honored Commisso by naming its soccer stadium and an annual award given to a men’s player after him.