[TV WATCH] MLS's first telecast on the NBC Sports Network and the revival of a Canadian rivalry highlight the four national broadcasts announced Tuesday by MLS for its opening weekend of play next March.
Montreal plays its first MLS game at BC Place against old rival Vancouver in a matchup of foes from the old North American Soccer League as well as second-division play. Canadian networks TSN and RDS/RDS2 will air that match on opening day, March 10.
A day later, FC Dallas hosts New York to kick off the NBC Sports Package in an afternoon game, and the Galavision schedule gets underway in the evening from Home Depot Center when Chivas USA hosts MLS Cup finalist Houston.
The first weekend of play concludes with a rare Monday night game, only the 10th such match in league history. In its second MLS season, Portland hosts third-year Philadelphia at Jeld-Wen Field, which was filled for every Timbers’ regular-season game last year.
NBC Sports Network/NBC has replaced Fox Soccer among the league’s broadcast partners. It negotiated a three-year deal, announced in August, by which 50 MLS and U.S. games will be aired on its four-tiered platform.
The complete MLS schedule is to be released next month. The league had previously announced dates for home openers of all 19 teams.
First Kick weekend national telecasts(home teams first, all times Eastern):
March 10 – Vancouver vs. Montreal, 6 p.m., TSN, RDS or RDS2.
March 11 – FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Network; Chivas USA vs. Houston, 7 p.m., Galavision.
March 12 – Portland vs. Philadelphia, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN Deportes.