Exclusive: DC United President says ‘potential American TV market’ Key to 2016 Copa America Decision

By Community | October 25, 2012

By Ismail Uddin

Kevin Payne, President and CEO of MLS’ D.C. United has suggested South American Football Confederation’s (CONMEBOL) decision to award USA the Copa America in 2016 may have been motivated by the huge American television market.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Payne said: “I’m not sure why COMNEBOL has taken this decision, but I assume at least part of it is aimed at the potential of the American television market, specifically, and the soccer market, generally.

CONMEBOL awarded the event to the United States who have never hosted the spectacle. The Copa America marks it centenary in 2016.

Payne added: “I’m not sure how this strategy will work — I’m sure certain teams and matches will be high demand, like any match with Argentina (assuming Messi is playing).  I’m not sure, however, that Venezuela-Peru has the same appeal.  They’d be better off working with Major League Soccer and soccer specific stadia for the earlier rounds, considering larger stadia for specific games and the final.”