MLS Live – Streaming Portal Rebrands And Expands

For many of us, our viewing of the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and other European competitions is made possible by a robust, premium online portal known as FOXSoccer2Go. The evolution of that product has been long and often problematic, but it has developed to the point now where we receive the top leagues live, on-demand, and on a few different devices.

Thankfully, Major League Soccer is getting on board with this idea, and the emergence of their latest product, MLS Live, certainly sounds like domestic football’s equivalent to FOXSoccer’s product. The good news is that this product should have even more access options.

MLS Live will be accessible through your PC or laptop, as to be expected. There will also be apps for your iPad and iPhone. But MLS Digital has gone even farther than FS2Go. They will continue to support their channel through Roku, and will also introduce an app native to Panasonic televisions. If there is one thing that would improve FOXSoccer2Go at this point, it would be these types of platforms that more readily work with your television. MLS Live is moving in that direction.

With these additional applications, MLS Live is also touting an HD-quality stream. Time will tell whether this kind of resolution will be attained and remain stable for long periods of time. We won’t pass any judgment until the product rolls off the skids.

One down-side for the product is that it is a premium service, and thus there is a cost. For my money, $59.99 for a full season of soccer is very reasonable. It’s cheaper than my renewal price for MLS DirectKick, and it’s making me consider dropping the Sunday Ticket-esque package. Of course I don’t own a Roku or a Panasonic television, but it might be worth the investment to buy the Roku interface, especially if there’s any chance that FOXSoccer2Go will one day make its way to Roku.

The major complaint from one segment of American soccer fans is that paying a premium price for a lower quality league is undesirable. Even ardent MLS supporters will likely agree that the brand of football carried on FOXSoccer2Go is better in quality. But that gap is closing with every passing year.

With all that said, I think MLS has shown a desire to reach out to the fan, and that says something. Between the preseason matches that have been streamed through the MLS website, the incorporation of Opta statistics within the framework of the site, and now what appears to be a significant upgrade in their multimedia portal, MLS is making their content more accessible than ever, and in better quality.

What would be the next steps for MLS Live in my opinion?

– More platforms for watching games would allow the product to reach more people.

– Allowing access on-demand for viewing MLS Reserve matches, or at the very least highlights.

– Other content that would give hardcore fans a reason to subscribe – segments such as tactics talks, interviews with players and coaches, in-depth vignettes about each stadium, and other top-quality pieces that add value to the product.

– Coupling the two products, MLS Direct Kick and MLS Live, for a package price so that fans without HD streaming options can still watch matches through their satellite, cable, or FIOS provider…but also access paywall content when matches are not scheduled.

It’s a great era to be a soccer fan. These online developments fit well with the introduction of the newest home of Major League Soccer, the NBC family of networks. Whether portable on your iPad, streaming through your Roku, or transmitted on your local NBC affiliate, Major League Soccer has the opportunity to reach more people than ever. And that’s good for the game, and good for America.

17 thoughts on “MLS Live – Streaming Portal Rebrands And Expands”

  1. The one glitch for streaming this season is that the games shown on
    NBC Sports Network will not be streamed, according to Chris
    Schlosser, MLS top digital guy. He said that NBCSN wasn’t able to
    complete their own internal process for launching a online stream
    for this season.

    1. Yes, this is what I understand. If anyone wants to hear a good
      interview with Schlosser, the most recent episode of the Best
      Soccer Show contains a solid 10 minute segment.

  2. My questions about this: 1. I had MatchDay Live last year, and it
    worked perfectly, usually HD quality stream and very few hiccups.
    In fact, from what I heard, it was technically a much better
    service than its FoxSoccer cousin. I worry that a full
    redesign–especially of something that already worked pretty
    well–brings with it the possibility of more unforeseen problems.
    Maybe I’m just paranoid. 2. Will they still make condensed versions
    (10-15 minutes) of games available 24 hours after the game? 3. I’m
    disappointed that they don’t appear to be offering any kind of
    early-adopter special like they did last year (for $39.99) or any
    kind of discount for repeat customers. I understand that they want
    to make as much money as possible, especially if they’ve invested
    money in a redesign. But still…is it worth $60, especially with
    the new TV deals that make many games more accessible and require
    them to be blacked out on MLS Live? I’m not entirely sure.

  3. I’ve used MatchDayLive since it’s inception 3 or 4 years ago. It
    has always been far and away the best value out there for high
    quality live MLS games. It will be interesting to see the
    difference between MDL and MLSLive, but it’s disingenuous to say
    that MLS “is getting on board with this idea” when MDL is more than
    a bit older than FS2G. The big problem I had with it last year was
    that you didn’t have a single account that would work across all
    devices. If you wanted to stream to your computer, you bought that
    on your computer. If you also wanted to stream to an iPad, you had
    to buy the product AGAIN on your iPad. If MLSLive removes this bug
    then $59.99 is well worth it.

  4. I have had MDL for a couple years and love it. The price has gone
    up but its still worth the price. no MLS fn should be without it.
    This will be my first year with an ipad and Apple TV, so i am
    hoping for a better viewing experience.

  5. Someone help me understand something. For what i believe is around
    $80 for the year, why not just buy direct kick and actually watch
    all the games on your TV? Im sure the price may be going up for DK
    but who would really want to watch a game on their computer over
    TV. Maybe im missing something but I do see great value in the DK

      1. Is it good quality when you hook up you PC to your TV? I still get
        cable in order to get ESPN2 (EPL), Fox Soccer Channel (EPL,
        Champion’s League) and college football- and a local cable channel
        that carries all the Rapids games. I’m starting to wonder if I’m
        antiquated and wasting money.

        1. The only way you can get ESPN on your PC is if your internet
          provider has a deal with ESPN. Checkout to see if
          your provider is listed. EPL and UCL games on Fox Soccer are not
          similcasted on the internet but delayed until midnight. MLS, MLB,
          NBA, and NHL locals are blacked out on the net and mobile
          platforms. Sometimes local teams offer internet deals like for me
          the Yankees have plan to stream Yankee games online that is
          seperate from The NFL still requires that you have the
          Sunday Ticket to get the internet streaming option, but I believe
          that the government is making them change that in 2013 or 2014. As
          for picture quality that all depends on your bandwidth and your
          computer’s specs, I have a max of 30Mbps down and 5Mbps up, but
          that will fluxuate because I have cable internet, but most of the
          time I get a HD quality picture.

    1. I would say you’re missing something :) 1) It’s $60 versus $80, so
      you save $20 2) It’s platform agnostic, so one purchase allows you
      to watch on iPad, iPhone, computer, Roku, Panasonic app which means
      you don’t have to be home to watch 3) As CT pointed out, it’s
      trivially easy to hook these devices up to a television. 4) You
      don’t have to put up with hopeless cable customer reps who keep
      trying to give you the MLB package for 45 minutes before
      understanding what ‘MLS’ means

      1. Don’t forget the archived games! MDL had every league game archived
        last year (the nationally broadcast games, too, although it
        sometimes took a week or so for them to be available).

      2. Thanks Ryan- It is probably an age thing, but I’m not platform
        agnostic! I’d rather watch soccer on my TV than on my laptop or the
        kids iPad. Thanks for the info though, next time I do a
        cable-verse-internet-streaming review I’ll keep it in mind.

  6. I’m still debating on whether or not to buy MLS Live. It will be a
    great product, but every single Chicago Fire game will be blacked
    out because one of the TV providers in my area (Central Iowa)
    carries Comcast Chicago. Is it worth spending $60 to watch my
    team’s games 48 hours after they happen?

  7. Well i have come to this decison…I am still buying DK because i
    do not feel like i am going to stream games from my computer to my
    TV at home(im just lazy like that). However I am also buying MLS
    live because i am on the road a lot for work, visting friends,
    family, etc so I figure by having my laptop and iphone will just
    ensure that I never miss my teams games and I like to watch as much
    MLS as i can so why not? Some may call this crazy but it excites me
    to be able to watch MLS pretty much everywhere i go.

    1. FYI TUA MLS Live blacks out games in which ever market your in, so
      where ever you are traveling to you will not be able to watch the
      “local” game in that market. For example I live in southwestern
      Connecticut so they blackout the RedBulls matchs.

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