The new group is spearheading the USL’s establishment of a presence in New York, with future plans in the works to open a physical office in the city.
“The USL continues to grow on all levels at a tremendous pace, and as we look to the future, we are intensifying our efforts to differentiate ourselves within the soccer landscape,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “Building a strong presence in New York – the center of commerce and media – is a statement of intent that the USL is more determined than ever to drive our business imperatives with our current partners and future partners that are based in New York.”
The Broadcasting and Media Group will lead the league’s push to expand and grow its media business. Cohen and Rubin will oversee live match production, media partnerships, distribution strategy, and premium content production such as docuseries, feature shorts, and panel shows.
A multi-time Emmy Award winner, Cohen brings more than four decades of experience in producing live soccer events. As Executive Producer at Soccer United Marketing, Cohen led coverage of the 2002 and 2006 FIFA Men’s World Cup on ABC and ESPN, and the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. He produced NBC’s soccer coverage for four Olympic Games. From 2017 through 2021, Cohen executive produced NWSL coverage on Lifetime, ESPN, and CBS platforms.
Cohen has previously advised the USL as a consultant, helping close the league’s first two national television and streaming agreements with ESPN and leading the creation of the USL’s innovative production plan. Currently, all USL professional matches across the Championship and League One are broadcast live on ESPN’s family of linear channels or streamed on ESPN+. USL matches are also available in nearly 60 countries and territories worldwide.
“Michael Cohen’s experience and expertise in soccer broadcasting are outstanding, as are his relationships across the sports industry,” Papadakis said. “Having Michael and a highly respected broadcasting innovator like Dana Rubin on our team will immediately elevate our media business.”
“Our country has a tremendous appetite for soccer, and now that we can watch it on any device, anytime, the USL is uniquely positioned to deliver more soccer experiences to more people,” Cohen said. “This new role with the USL affords me the opportunity to tell stories, build stars, and be part of one of the fastest-growing soccer properties in the world.”
An Emmy Award-winning producer, Rubin will focus on building the media operations for the USL Super League, a new women’s professional league launching in August 2023, as well as work on the USL’s live match production and original premium content. Rubin has more than 20 years’ experience in the sports television business, including as a producer with Major League Baseball Productions. Most recently, she was the Director of Broadcast and Content for the National Women’s Soccer League, where she oversaw all NWSL broadcasts on the CBS family of networks and Twitch and led the league’s feature development initiatives. During the last two years with the NWSL, Rubin helped drive audience growth more than 200%.
“Dana’s work in women’s soccer over the last five years was groundbreaking for the sport,” Cohen said. “Her talent and experience will help drive the vision as we build the USL media business, in general, and the Super League media plan, in particular.”
“The USL’s vision for soccer in this country and the infrastructure it has created is second to none,” Rubin said. “I look forward to being part of the team that enhances the media strategy and delivers a best-in-class broadcast experience for the fans.”