'MLS Breakaway' to return Aug. 3 on NBC Sports Network

By Paul Kennedy

NBC Sports Network will air a second edition of "MLS Breakaway," its version of the widely popular NFL Red Zone, the game-day channel that provides back-and-forth coverage of all the Sunday afternoon football during the fall.

The second edition of "MLS Breakaway" will air on Aug. 3, beginning at 9 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Network and follow its coverage of the Sporting Kansas City-New York Red Bulls match at 6:30 p.m. ET.

The 90-minute “whip-around” show will feature multiple live look-ins to regional broadcasts of four games being played at that time.

The first show, which aired March 16 during Rivalry Week, averaged only 51,000 viewers, about half the NBCSN average for an MLS telecast and less than a quarter of the 209,000 viewers who watched the Seattle-Portland game that followed "MLS Breakaway" for the largest audience of the 2013 season to date on NBCSN.

This second show provides NBC with several valuable promotional opportunities.

"MLS Breakaway" will showcase NBC’s new lead MLS play-by-play voice, John Strong, as host, and he will work alongside analyst Kyle Martino from NBC Sports Groups’ new International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

It will provide multiple opportunities for NBC to promote the debut of its coverage of the English Premier League, which kicks off its 2013-14 season two weeks later.

The four games "MLS Breakaway" will cover are all interconference matches:

-- D.C. United-Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET
-- Philadelphia-Chicago, 8 p.m. ET
-- Colorado-Real Salt Lake. 8:30 p.m. ET
-- Houston-Columbus, 9 p.m. ET

Note: Some start times have been changed from the original MLS schedule.

ONE WORLD SPORTS LANDS BAYERN AND CHELSEA. ONE World Sports has secured season-long rights to air matches of reigning UEFA Champions League champion Bayern Munich and 2012 winner Chelsea FC in three-hour blocks of delayed gamecasts accompanied by exclusive interviews with leading players and team managers.

The Bayern and Chelsea shows will hit the network in mid-August, when league play resumes, and also will feature games from their respective Champions League and cup campaigns.

MESSI'S NEW SHOE. Lionel Messi debuted the next generation of his signature adidas adizero F50, which features personalized design details including his logo, name and mantra “give all for your team," at his Messi and Friends match in Medellin, Colombia.

The charity match tour continues with stops in Los Angeles on Wednesday and Chicago on Saturday.

Photo: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
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