Category: Leagues: Major League Soccer

MLS begins 2019 season with disappointing TV ratings on ESPN, FS1 and Univision

Major League Soccer has kicked off 2019 right where it finished the 2018 regular season with disappointing TV viewing numbers on English-language television across both ESPN and FOX Sports, and a surprising drop in viewership on the Spanish-language Univision Deportes. Compared to the 2018 opening weekend, the viewing numbers for the nationally televised games this past weekend were: • Down 24% on Univision for Orlando-New York City, • Down 13% on ESPN for DC United-Atlanta United, • Up just 6% for LA Galaxy-Chicago and Seattle-Cincinnati on FS1. While the 6% increase on FS1 might seem positive, the average of 186,000 for both games ... Read more

MLS Impact sign Canadian Brault-Guillard on loan from Lyon

Montreal (AFP) – Haitian-born Canada right back Zachary Brault-Guillard was obtained by Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact on Tuesday on loan from French side Lyon for the 2019 campaign. The 20-year-old defender, adopted by a Quebec couple and raised in Montreal until age seven before moving to France, has spent time with the Impact in pre-season on a trial basis. “Zachary will reinforce the Impact’s defensive unit,” coach Remi Garde said.  He said the young Franco-Quebecois had come up through Lyon’s youth teams. “He’s a defensive fullback who has potential to progress through daily contact with the Impact’s other professional ... Read more

How things could have been so different if MLS had continued on NBC Sports

There’s no doubt that NBC Sports has transformed the fortunes and perception of the Premier League in the United States, but it is often forgotten NBC Sports actually acquired the rights to show Major League Soccer (MLS) for three seasons from 2012-2014 before they acquired the US’ Premier League rights. NBC’s coverage of MLS was outstanding enough to win plaudits from fans and media, but as the US-based top flight league approaching its nineteenth season, MLS executives were — according to a World Soccer Talk source — demanding a massive increase in the rights fees to broadcast the domestic league, which ... Read more

Expanding MLS books March 2 kickoff for 2019 campaign

New York (AFP) – Major League Soccer welcomes expansion side FC Cincinnati to the competition when the 2019 campaign opens on March 2 with 10 games, the league announced on Thursday. The 10-match opening-day slate will find the MLS newcomers, the league’s 24th club for its 24th season, debuting at Seattle with their second match a March 10 visit to Atlanta United for the reigning MLS champion’s home season opener. Not until Match 17 against Portland, who lost to Atlanta in the MLS Cup final earlier this month, will FC Cincinnati players make their MLS home debut. The season’s first ... Read more

Jon Champion departure from England leaves gaping hole in Premier League commentaries

ESPN’s surprise announcement this week that Jon Champion has decided to relocate to the United States and become ESPN’s lead commentator for MLS is going to leave a gaping hole in the commentaries of Premier League games. Out of all of the Premier League commentators calling games around the world, Champion is the number one in his field. Displaying a very English commentary style with an equal balance of witty remarks and not talking too much during games, Champion is the best in the business. So much so that his commentary style coupled with his knack of saying the right ... Read more

Most-watched MLS Cup Finals of all-time on US TV

Photo credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Given the impressive viewing number for the 2018 MLS Cup Final, how does it compare to previous MLS Cup Finals that have aired in English-language on US television? With the over-the-air FOX network being available in approximately 115 million homes in the United States, Major League Soccer’s decision to televise games on that channel in 2016 and 2018 is paying dividends as can be evidenced below. The network is in far more homes than ESPN (87 million homes). The viewing number for the 2018 MLS Cup Final does mask what has been largely ... Read more

MLS Cup Final hits 1.5 million viewers on FOX for Atlanta triumph over Portland

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports FOX’s coverage of the 2018 MLS Cup Final between Atlanta United and Portland Timbers averaged 1.5 million viewers on the over-the-air network, an increase of 10% compared to the last time a MLS final was televised on the same network two years ago when Seattle defeated Toronto FC, thanks to a report by Showbuzz Daily. It’s Major League Soccer’s second best viewership on record for a MLS Cup Final. The previous best was 2.2 million that watched the 1997 MLS Cup Final on ABC. MLS’ viewing number greatly benefitted from the Atlanta effect, ... Read more

Remembering David Villa’s legacy with NYCFC and MLS

Before New York City Football Club had uniforms or a fan base, or an academy, or any semblance of a footballing identity, they had David Villa. The decorated Spanish striker became the club’s first-ever player on June 2, 2014. He joined as the Spanish national teams all-time leading goal scorer, a World Cup winner in 2010, and a winner of both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Villa’s stature in MLS was larger than life. He was the latest in a new wave of aging European stars who sought career renaissances in Major League Soccer. Almost four and a ... Read more