MLS, U.S. Soccer sign long term TV deal with ESPN, FOX, Univision

MLS TV

While the entertainment and media industry continues to evolve, one thing remains certain; a strong television partnership still fuels the sports world.

MLS and U.S. Soccer can now boast three quality partners, and a reported $90 million a year revenue stream to boot.

MLS and U.S. Soccer announced an eight-year deal with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision. Through this new agreement, MLS will finally be afforded a set-time for national game-of-the-week broadcasts, including a Friday night showcase on Univision, which will air at either 7 or 11 p.m., and a national double-header on Sundays between ESPN (5 p.m.) and FOX Sports (7 p.m.). Each network is commited to 34 MLS games a year.

Moreover, all out of market games will now be available on the acclaimed streaming networks of ESPN3 and WatchESPN. This will mean MLS Live and Direct Kick will no longer be available to the masses.

Along with MLS, the USMNT and USWNT will find a new home with ESPN and FOX, who will split the English broadcasting rights for both teams. Univision will feature all Spanish language broadcasts and a minimum of four USWNT encounters.

Here are further details on the new agreement:

ESPN Networks

  • ESPN and Fox Sports 1 will share all U.S. Soccer matches.
  • ESPN will broadcast a minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Sundays at 5 p.m. ET primarily on ESPN2.
  • ESPN and Fox Sports will share MLS Cup Playoff matches outside of two Univision games.
  • MLS Cup will alternate each year between ESPN and Fox Sports.
  • The AT&T MLS All-Star Game will alternate each year between ESPN and Fox Sports.
  • ESPN3 will carry the matches in MLS’ out-of-market package.
  • ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio networks have the rights to broadcast MLS matches.
  • ESPN obtains digital rights across all platforms and devices for the games it televises.

Fox Sports

  • ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will split all U.S. Soccer matches.
  • FOX Sports will broadcast a minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Sundays at 7 p.m. ET primarily on FOX Sports 1.
  • FOX Sports 1 and ESPN will share MLS Cup Playoff matches outside of two Univision games.
  • MLS Cup will alternate each year between FOX Sports and ESPN.
  • The AT&T MLS All-Star Game will alternate each year between FOX Sports and ESPN.
  • FOX Sports obtains digital rights across all platforms and devices for the games it televises, including its FOX Sports GO mobile app and FOXSportsGO.com for desktops.
  • FOX Sports obtains digital highlight rights for MLS’s out-of-market package via FOX Sports digital platforms
  • FOX Sports Radio network has the opportunity to broadcast MLS matches.
  • Opportunity to broadcast the MLS SuperDraft and other marquee MLS events.

Univision

  • All U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team matches, including a minimum of four U.S. Women’s National Team matches each year over the duration of the deal.
  • Minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Friday evenings either at 7 p.m. ET or 11 p.m. ET primarily on UniMás.
  • Two MLS Cup Playoff matches per season, on an exclusive basis, during the knockout round.
  • The AT&T MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, exclusively in Spanish on Univision.
  • Exclusive MLS matches on the Univision networks will include second audio program (SAP), providing viewers the option of watching games in English. English audio also will be available for matches televised on Univision’s digital platforms.
  • Univision Deportes Network (UDN), Univision’s 24 hour sports network, will feature five to seven consecutive Friday doubleheaders in May and June that will be surrounded by two hours of MLS ancillary programming.
  • UDN will televise a weekly MLS wrap-up program and a condensed MLS match of the week each Sunday.
  • Univision obtains digital rights across all platforms and mobile devices for the games it televises.

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  • The real Stan

    Where are all of the NASL fans?
    Watching YouTube videos…LMMLSAO

  • Anonymous

    I love the Cosmos but they made an awful decision not paying up and being NY2. This goes to show for it, a major endorsement worth over 700 million in the next eight years from 3 of the biggest sports networks in the country. The only thing to hope for now as a Cosmos fan is get the stadium built and kiss Garber’s ass to let us in at NY3. That still won’t happen for at least 5-10 years.

    • The real Stan

      Wow still no NASL fans, man I would’ve stopped crying by now

  • Pingback: NASL, Cosmos will feel impact of MLS' TV Deal()


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