MLS is finally coming to over-the-air network television in the United States.
In the past five years, FOX Sports has televised everything from the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Bundesliga on the over-the-air FOX channel, but hasn’t shown MLS games on its flagship network. That is until now. FOX Sports today announced that in its second year of a 8-year deal with MLS, the broadcaster will televise 4 games on the over-the-air FOX network as part of a 34-match package for the season.
During 2015, FOX Sports had an average viewing audience of 196,545, so adding the 4 MLS 2016 games to its over-the-air network will certainly have a positive impact on the overall average for 2016.
The four MLS games that will be televised on the over-the-air FOX network are:
New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders
New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC
Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
The May 21st match will be a doubleheader on FOX with the FA Cup Final preceding the New York derby.
For MLS, having the games on an over-the-air network is a big boost to try to help TV ratings that have been a disappointment overall. The 2016 over-the-air numbers will help inflate the overall average, and will hopefully introduce new fans to the growing league.
In addition to the 4 MLS games, FOX Sports has announced that it will be broadcasting 8 Bundesliga games on the FOX over-the-air network in 2016.
The 2016 season will also see 29 MLS games on ESPN, an increase from nine in 2015, as well as 5 on ESPN2. All 28 Univision Deportes matches will air live on UniMás, with select matches simulcast on the cable network Univision Deportes Network (UDN).
Univision will continue its exclusive Friday night package in 2016. This season, 28 matches will be broadcast on UniMás, an increase from 18 in 2015, with Univision Deportes Network (UDN) simulcasting select matches. UniMás and UDN will also have select matches on other nights of the week in 2016, including the San Jose Earthquakes hosting the LA Galaxy on June 25 at Stanford Stadium as a doubleheader with the Copa America Centenario third place match.
Here’s the complete MLS schedule for 2016.
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