Commentary

MLS launches content group MLS+

By Paul Kennedy

Major League Soccer has its own soccer news web site (MLSSoccer.com), it has its own YouTube channel (KickTV) and it is now launching its own content and distribution group, MLS+, to create soccer programming for its own platforms and those of its partners.

“Soccer in North America and MLS are soaring,” MLS Chief Marketing Officer Howard Handler said. “To build on this momentum and inspire the next wave of fans, MLS+ will create hundreds of hours of premium programming per year.  MLS+ will also deliver new opportunities to leverage the relationship between our fans and the commercial community.”

MLS+ content will include new television shows, digital series, mini-documentaries, mobile applications, lifestyle features, user-generated content, viral video stunts and more. Distribution partnerships include NBC Sports Network and NBCSports.com, Canada's TSN and RDS, KickTV, the MLS YouTube channel, MLSsoccer.com and other digital partners, including Yahoo!, MedioTiempo, and SB Nation.

NEW MAGAZINE SHOW. The first MLS+ creative partner is eight-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Hock, the executive producer of MLS Insider, a new magazine show that premieres on NBC Sports Network Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET and on TSN2 in Canada at 2 p.m.

This Friday’s premiere episode of MLS Insider includes in-depth features on New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill, Philadelphia Union’s Sons of Ben supporters group and LA Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers.

UNIVISION VIEWERS UP. Univision reported triple digit growth on Univision and UniMas for weekend coverage of the Confederations Cup from Brazil as compared to the opening matches of the 2009 Confederations Cup (when Mexico was not entered).

The opening weekend of the 2013 Confederations Cup averaged 1.8 million viewers for an increase of 215 percent versus the opening weekend in 2009.
 
The Mexico-Italy match averaged a high of 3.1 million viewers. Brazil-Japan averaged 1.09 million viewers on Univision while Spain-Uruguay on UniMas averaged 1.14 million viewers.
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