Where to watch MLS on US TV and streaming
If you’re trying to find out where to watch MLS on US TV, you’ve come to the right place.
MLS is gaining popularity with each season. In fact, a recent ESPN poll showed that Major League Soccer has actually caught up with Major League Baseball’s following among 12- to 17-year-olds.
With plenty of new fans, MLS took advantage of a new television deal for 2015-2022. The league struck an eight-year deal with ESPN, FOX Sports, and Univision (for Spanish language telecasts) to broadcast Major League Soccer matches until the end of the 2022 season.
Where to watch MLS on US TV
In the deal, Univision Deportes has exclusive TV rights to the Friday night games. It’s the first time that a Spanish-language channel has its own exclusive night with a major professional sports league based in the United States. Games are shown on Univision Deportes Network and/or UniMás.
Saturday MLS games are not available on national TV, but are instead shown on local TV networks (where available).
On Sundays, ESPN and FOX Sports 1 televise back-to-back “Match of the Week” games on Sunday evenings throughout the entire MLS season. A small number of MLS games are also shown on the FOX over-the-air broadcast network this season, as well as the 2016 MLS Cup final, which is scheduled for mid-December on national TV.
All in all, there will be over 125 Major League Soccer matches to be aired annually on the trio of networks.
Plus matches are available via the MLS Direct Kick package from most TV providers.
On the new contract, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati stated, “We are extremely pleased to have extended our partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision. 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.”
ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will alternate the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup each year under the agreement. Both sports networks will share both regular season matches and playoffs games, with Univision being able to air two playoff matches per season.
MLS’ digital options are more complicated. In 2015, ESPN was supposed to launch a streaming service that would include MLS games, but as of press time, that service hasn’t materialized yet (although it could be ready for the 2017 MLS season). Read our MLS Live review. Pricing starts at $16 per month.
In the meantime, the streaming options include MLS Live, which streams every game during the season except for local blackouts. Other options include Sling TV, FOX Sports GO and WatchESPN.
Launched in June 2016, Sling TV offers FOX Sports without requiring a cable or satellite TV subscription. Sling Blue includes FS1, FS2, FOX and FOX Sports Net. If you get the Sling Blue/Sling Orange combo, you get the FOX channels, all of the ESPN channels and also Univision, so you can watch all of the MLS games you want.
In addition to the above coverage, cord cutters and soccer fans can watch MLS games via the following streaming options:
Every season, MLS teams compete in the US Open Cup, a historic soccer tournament that unfortunately doesn’t get as much love or appreciation from soccer fans and media in the United States. For the 2016 season, the US Open Cup semi-finals and final were televised live on ESPN2. Earlier rounds of the tournament were shown mostly, if at all, on club-specific YouTube channels.
If you have any questions about where to watch MLS on US TV, let us know in the comments section below.
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MLS on radio
Radio listeners can tune into ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio for live coverage of live MLS matches. Streaming service TuneIn radio provides specialized team broadcasts of many top Major League Soccer clubs. SiriusXM FC (channel 85) also has plenty of coverage and commentary throughout the MLS season.
Many pubs and sports bars also show live matches of MLS games as well. To find a comprehensive list of pubs/sports bars that air your favorite Major League Soccer team’s matches, click here.
View our comprehensive guides to watching the following leagues: