The United Soccer League, or USL, renewed its media rights contract with ESPN for an additional year. First reported by World Soccer Talk, the agreement will extend the partnership through the upcoming 2023 season.
In the agreement, ESPN will carry all USL Championship and USL League One games on ESPN+. The mammoth sports media company is also set to air select USL matches on their television networks as well. This would presumably be the more important matchups throughout the campaign.
Plenty of changes have occurred in the historic USL
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Founded in 1986, the USL was initially formed as an indoor soccer league. Three years later, the organization added a traditional outdoor soccer league to their operation. Name changes, team expansions, and mergers have filled the history books of the competition in recent decades. It’s safe to say that the USL has gone through a plethora of changes over the last 37 years.
However, one of the biggest modifications of the league was becoming the official second and third divisions in the United States. U.S. Soccer granted the move in 2017. USL Championship now sits directly behind Major League Soccer in the pyramid of divisions in the nation. USL also created a third division, called USL League One, during the same year as well.
San Antonio set to defend USL title next month on ESPN+
The USL Championship now consists of 24 teams in two different conferences. San Antonio FC are the current reigning champions of the league, having beaten Louisville City FC in the title match back in November. Cities that have teams in this division are typically bigger cities in the U.S. that do not have an MLS team. The upcoming Championship season is set to start on March 11th.
World Soccer Talk reached out to USL for comment. However, a USL spokesperson says that the league is not able to provide comment at this time.
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