One of the biggest concerns that fans of Major League Soccer teams have about MLS Season Pass is that they’re losing local announcers.
Previously, MLS has always had local announcers calling games across a range of regional sports networks nationwide. Many of them were considered experts and familiar voices that fans grew up with, while watching the league.
However, Major League Soccer got rid of all of its agreements with regional sports networks. Instead, the league opted for a global deal with Apple for the next 10 years, thus making many of the local stars redundant.
Some of the local MLS announcers did make the cut for the global broadcasts on Apple, but they won’t be covering the same team each week like they did before.
MLS Season Pass: Local decision
Major League Soccer’s 10-year deal with Apple was a concern for many fans of clubs nationwide. Losing that local expertise will be a big blow for fans who want to hear their favorite announcers.
So what has Major League Soccer decided to do?
According to several sources who spoke with World Soccer Talk, Major League Soccer and Apple have decided to do something quite different. Many of the announcers picked for MLS Season Pass will be covering the league on a regional basis.
So, as a hypothetical example, previously the play-by-play announcer for Portland Timbers was Jake Zivin. Under his new role, Zivin — along with other commentators — will primarily call games on a regional basis. So Zivin, and his colleagues, will travel from stadium to stadium in the Pacific Northwest (as well as other areas not too far away by plane such as California).
The regional focus for MLS announcers allows them to become experts on the given teams in their area. Plus, for viewers, it can ensure that most of the commentaries are done by neutral commentators, so local bias is removed.
The advantage for Major League Soccer is that it cuts down on travel costs instead of having announcers fly across the country to call games on site twice a week.
Radio broadcasts are another option to consider
So if you still want your local slant on games, don’t forget that MLS Season Pass will have the ability for you to sync the local radio broadcast of the game instead of the regional announcer.
MLS Season Pass launches on February 1, 2023 at $14.99 per month or $99 per year. The debut games on Apple are scheduled for February 25, 2023.
Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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