Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Bookend nights key to MLS in new deal
by Paul Kennedy, May 12th, 2014 1:32PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, soccer business, television

MOST COMMENTED

[SOCCER ON THE AIR] The key aspects of the eight-year media rights deal that MLS and U.S. Soccer signed with ESPN, Fox and Univision give MLS three dedicated windows on weekends and give ESPN out-of-market rights to other MLS matches to air online at ESPN3. Sporting Business Daily reported the collective rights paid by the three networks will be $90 million.

The eight-year agreement begins in 2015 and goes through the end of 2022, and all three networks will show a minimum of 34 MLS regular-season games in their time frames. They will give MLS its most consistent presence on national televison and bookend its weekend action. Previous efforts at Games of the Year fizzled out.

MLS Weekend TV:
Friday:Univision (primarily UniMas), 7 or 11 p.m. ET
Sunday:ESPN (primarily ESPN2), 5 p.m. ET
Sunday: Fox Sports (primarily Fox Sports 1), 7 p.m. ET

Major League Soccer’s out-of-market package, currently serviced through the MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick packages, will be available on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multichannel sports network currently in more than 92 million homes, and WatchESPN, available to fans who receive their video or Internet subscription from an affiliated provider. It will also be available via over-the-top services such as Google Play, iTunes Apple TV, Roku and others.

ESPN and Fox Sports will alternate coverage of MLS Cup and the MLS All-Star Game. Univision will continue with exclusive Spanish-language rights to the events.

ESPN has been an MLS broadcaster since the league's launch in 1996. Fox Sports returns to MLS after a three-year absence. Univision’s new agreement with MLS will extend its relationship between the Spanish-language network to 20 seasons.

“We are honored to partner with ESPN, FOX and Univision to form the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of soccer in our country,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a statement.  “The commitment from our television partners in terms of structure, length and magnitude is unprecedented, and these new partnerships are another strong indicator of the League’s continued growth and the overall fan interest in our sport.”

ESPN Networks:
-- Minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Sundays at 5 p.m. ET primarily on ESPN2.
-- Split with FOX Sports playoff matches outside of the two Univision games.
-- MLS Cup will alternate each year between ESPN and FOX Sports 1.
-- The AT&T MLS All-Star Game will alternate each year between ESPN and FOX Sports 1.
-- ESPN and FOX Sports will split all U.S. Soccer matches.
-- 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:
-- Minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Sundays at 7 p.m. ET primarily on Fox Sports 1.
-- Split with ESPN playoff matches outside of the two Univision games.
-- MLS Cup will alternate each year between Fox Sports 1 and ESPN.
-- The AT&T MLS All-Star Game will alternate each year between FOX Sports 1 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 obtain digital highlight rights for MLS’s out-of-market package via FOX Sports digital platforms.
-- ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will split all U.S. Soccer matches.

Univision:
-- Minimum of 34 regular-season games, on an exclusive basis, on Friday evenings usually at 7 p.m. ET or 11 p.m. ET, primarily on UniMas.
-- Two 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.
-- All U.S. men’s national team matches, plus a minimum of four U.S. women’s National Team matches each year.
-- 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.
-- UDN, Univision’s 24-hour sports network, will feature 5-7 consecutive Friday doubleheaders in May and June that will be surrounded by two hours of MLS ancillary programming.
-- UDN will televise a weekly Sunday MLS wrap-up program and a condensed MLS match of the week.
-- Univision obtains digital rights across all platforms and mobile devices for the games it televises.


3 comments
  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: May 12, 2014 at 7 p.m.
    I'm very disappointed NBCSN lost out. They've had the best MLS coverage of them all. ESPN was weak in the past and Fox & Univision were terrible and low-budget. They all need to raise their game to equal what NBCSN did.
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: May 19, 2014 at 1:44 a.m.
    Only 2 games per week in English? What a rip! Why no Saturday games? That's when most of the games are played. I don't think you're going to raise soccer's popularity like that.
  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: May 19, 2014 at 8:42 p.m.
    "Why no Saturday games? That's when most of the games are played." --Well, you answered your own question, didn't you? Why would they put a game on TV when the people who are interested are at other games?

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Johansson returns in crushing Bremen defeat    
Aron Johannsson returned to action in the Bundesliga for the first time in 11 months, starting ...
USA names roster for U-17 Women's World Cup    
Coach B.J. Snow has named the USA's 21-player roster for the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup ...
MLS Countdown: Vanney gives TFC reminder    
Toronto FC waited through many seasons and head coaches before finally reaching the playoffs last year. ...
Bundesliga 2016-17: Half the teams have a U.S. player    
From age 17 to 28, from newly promoted RB Leipzig to four-time defending champion Bayern Munich, ...
WCQ Callups: USA battles injuries and suspensions    
The roster for the U.S. national team's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the ...
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
What They're Saying: Laura Harvey    
"It's about someone’s livelihood. It’s about their career. Irrelevant of what the decision is and who ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"The players don't control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. ...
TV Report: MLS and NFL to air joint lineup    
On Sept. 18, Fox Sports will air two live MLS matches -- Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy ...
MLS Countdown: Timbers' health improving    
Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Portland meet Sunday at Providence Park for the second time in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives