For the first time in MLS history, the league has gotten a substantial fee for its television rights. (Rather than buying time on networks.)
Here is a breakdown of each networks programming.
- ABC will show the opening game from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park between DC United and Colorado tomorrow, as well as the MLS Cup Final on November 18th.
- Beginning this upcoming Thursday (April 12th) ESPN2 will broadcast a weekly Thursday Night match until the end of the Regular Season. While having a fixed night for games on ESPN2 is useful for the viewers, attendance in midweek games played in venues other than DC have traditionally been abysmal.
- Rob Stone and Eric Wynalda will typically be in the broadcast booth, with Dave O’Brien replacing Stone for designated “big” matches such as the All-Star game versus Celtic, and probably some of the early David Beckham appearances.
- ESPN will promote MLS by showing more highlights on Sports center and weekly ESPNews feature on Tuesday at 5pm with Allen Hopkins.
FOX Soccer Channel: MLS Saturday on FSC
- FSC will show an MLS match each Saturday night beginning tomorrow until season’s end.
- An on-site studio show will proceed each match with a postgame show following each match.
- Max Bretos and Christopher Sullivan will be in the broadcast booth for each match. The team has develop some excellent chemistry during the CONCACAF Champions Cup.
- Fox Soccer Report will feature an MLS preview every Friday night.
- HDNET will broadcast one match each Saturday. Most of the time the game will be in the evening but HDNET has a few afternoon games on their schedule. This will be the fifth consecutive year of weekly games on HDNet.
- Glen Davis and Marcelo Balboa return for their 3rd season calling HDNet’s package.
- Telefutura returns as the Spanish language primary broadcast partner for MLS. Each Sunday Telefutura will broadcast a live game. Galavision which is more homes nationally will broadcast three LA Galaxy games in August after the arrival of David Beckham.
For the first time ever, every MLS game will be available through one of the national television partners or through Direct Kick the MLS’ season long pay per view package.