The long-rumored Indonesian tour has finally been announced, and the details are the same as the rumors early last month. D.C. United will play a friendly against Persib Bandung on December 6 at 6:30pm local time, following that game up two days later with a friendly against Arema FC at 7:00pm local time. Both games will be broadcast on SCTV, which is Indonesia's largest over-the-air broadcast network; the channel reaches almost 177 million potential viewers throughout the region.
The sports and entertainment company that has arranged the tour, Mahaka, is the same company that arranged the Los Angeles Galaxy's tour in 2010, which first brought Major League Soccer to the attention of Erick Thohir. Mahaka Group is also owned by Thohir, so there is some vertical integration in the playing for this tour. This tour will give United more exposure in Southeast Asia and will possibly open up other marketing opportunities in the future. If this tour goes well, combined with the LA Galaxy's tour a few years ago, could it lead to Thohir getting a TV network to broadcast an occasional D.C. United game in Indonesia? While not likely in the short term, that kind of exposure (and money) would prove a concrete benefit to the team.
We will cover these games to the best of our abilities; who knows, it will probably be easier to find than the US Open Cup final.
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