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MLS Cup to Air on ESPN

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The MLS championship game has a new television slot. No longer airing on Sunday afternoon on ABC, the game will air at 8:30 pm ET on Nov. 22 on ESPN. Its first time on cable television, the game will go head-to-head with highly rated "Sunday Night Football" on NBC. League and network executives decided to move MLS Cup 2009 to ESPN so that it could start later at its West Coast site, Seattle's Qwest Field.

"[We] decided to make this move to allow us the opportunity to play the game later in the day," MLS President Mark Abbott wrote in an e-mail. "MLS Cup had traditionally taken place during the early afternoon on Sunday, and we collectively decided to move it to the evening."

ESPN and MLS officials have not yet decided the outlet for the 2010 game, as they made this year's decision based on the specific circumstances of having a West Coast city host the match. "We have the flexibility within the partnership to try different things," said Scott Guglielmino, vice president of programming and acquisitions at ESPN. "We're going to continue to do that."

 

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