FOX Sports, ESPN and Univision announce MLS coverage plans for 2015 season

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For the first time in US history, a major American sports league will debut its new season exclusively on a Hispanic network when Univision Deportes and UniMas televise Friday night’s game between LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire.

The Univision Deportes’ exclusive broadcast of the season kick off is part of a comprehensive 8-year deal with MLS.

Throughout the MLS season, Univision Deportes will offer an English-language SAP option for every match aired on an Univision Deportes’ property, a first for sports broadcasters in the U.S.  The English-language commentary on SAP, live streamed on UnivisionDeportes.com, will be provided by former U.S. National team player, Paul Caligiuri, along with announcer Ramsés Sandoval.  More information about this SAP option is available at MLSsoccer.com/SAP.

Additionally, Univision Deportes will launch a weekly one-hour show, “Somos MLS” (We Are MLS), which will include highlights of each week’s matches and frequent appearances by MLS players and coaches.  “Somos MLS” will air on Sunday nights on UDN beginning March 8 representing the first specific show to air on Univision networks. Other MLS programming will include weekly segments on existing Univision Deportes’ shows “República Deportiva,” “Fútbol Club,” “Contacto Deportivo” and “Locura Deportiva.”  Also, for the 2015 MLS season, Univision Deportes will be live on-site for each match and producing each broadcast exclusively for the Univision Deportes audience.

Commentary and play-by-plays will come from Univision Deportes’ dynamic team of soccer experts, including Jorge Pérez Navarro, Diego Balado, José Luis López Salido, Raúl Guzmán, Iván Kasanzew, and Jorge Calvo, as well as special guest and former soccer star Marcelo Balboa.

“Viernes de Fútbol” (Fútbol Fridays) will kick off the MLS Season on Univision Deportes with the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy taking on the Chicago Fire on Friday, March 6th live from LA on UniMás at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT/7 p.m. PT, airing simultaneously on UDN.  Special guest for the first “Viernes de Fútbol” will be internationally renowned MLS retired soccer player, Landon Donovan. This season, Univision Deportes will be the Friday destination for exclusive MLS action, with nearly 40 matches broadcast on UniMás and UDN.

Matches to follow during the month of March are Houston Dynamo versus Orlando FC on Friday, March 13 live at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/4 p.m. PT, and Philadelphia Union vs. FC Dallas on Friday, March 20 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/4 p.m. PT; both matches will air simultaneously on UniMás and UDN. The complete broadcast schedule is available via http://www.mlssoccer.com/tv/2015/univision.

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ESPN’s 20th season of Major League Soccer – which kicks off with expansion franchises Orlando City SC vs. NYC FC Sunday, March 8 – will feature a new consistent “MLS Soccer Sunday” match window: Sundays at 5 p.m. ET. Twenty-eight of ESPN’s 34 regular-season matches will air at this time (primarily on ESPN2), marking the most consistent appointment viewing for the league since its debut season in 1996.

ESPN, which reached a new eight-year agreement with MLS last year that extends through 2022, is the league’s lone national television partner through each of its first 20 seasons.

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