U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer have signed a television and media rights partnership with ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision Deportes. All three networks will televise U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches and MLS matches beginning in 2015 through the end of 2022. ESPN and Fox Sports 1 will split all U.S. Soccer matches. Univision will broadcast all of the U.S. Men’s National Team games and a minimum of four Women’s National Team games each year in Spanish.
“We are extremely pleased to have extended our partnerships with ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision,” said U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati. “The commitment made by our television partners to broadcast such a wide range and quantity of games demonstrates the growing demand for soccer in our country and provides a platform for our growing fan base to follow the game both for club and country.”
For the first time in MLS history, the three television partners will feature an MLS Match of the Week, providing soccer fans throughout the country with a specific day and time for each network. Univision will televise a game of the week on Friday evenings and a wrap-up show on Sundays, while ESPN and Fox Sports 1 will televise back-to-back MLS matches on Sundays.
“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. “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.”
As terms of the new partnership, U.S. Soccer and MLS will provide enhanced digital rights to ESPN, Univision and Fox Sports, including an agreement with ESPN to distribute MLS’ out-of-market package via ESPN platforms and devices. The league’s out-of-market package, which is currently serviced through the MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick packages, will be available to a wider audience, feature hundreds of MLS matches and include broad promotional support for the games from all network providers.