NBC Sports Network will take Fox Soccer's place as the main home of MLS TV broadcasts. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

MLS Signs New TV Deal With NBC, Will Be Carried On Network TV And NBC Sports Network

NBC has acquired the broadcast rights to MLS, taking Fox Soccer's place as the league's primary television partner. Deals with ESPN and Televisa remain intact.

  • Live
4 Total Updates since August 10, 2011
  • Updates 2
  • Articles 2
  • All Updates 4

MLS on NBC: League Now Available In Roughly 42 Million More Homes

NBC's three-year deal to broadcast MLS games represents far more than a just fresh start for the 16-year-old league. While many had been calling for MLS to part ways for Fox Soccer for quite some time -- almost no matter the circumstances -- this deal represents a huge step forward for far more practical reasons. The new deal provides significantly more exposure, both in the availability and the number of games that will be nationally broadcasted.

Even before we know how the games will look on the soon-to-be-rebranded NBC Sports Network (currently called Versus), MLS games will be available in about 80 million homes as opposed to the roughly 38 million that currently receive Fox Soccer. The main reason for this increased availability is that Versus is generally available on lower-tier cable packages.

On Comcast, for instance, Versus is on the "Digital Starter Package" whereas Fox Soccer is only available on the "Sports Entertainment Package." On DirecTV, you only need to be the "Choice Xtra" package to receive Versus, but you need the "Premier" or sports packages to receive Fox Soccer. Of the three biggest cable/dish providers, only Dish Network makes Versus and Fox Soccer available at the same subscription level, "America's Top 250."

Beyond availability, the NBC deal also calls for a significant increase in the number of games that will be broadcast. The current one-year, FSC deal was for 31 MLS regular season games and three playoff games. The new NBC deal calls for 38 regular-season games and three playoff games to be aired on NBC Sports Network and two regular-season games and two playoff games to be broadcast on NBC. All told, that's 11 more nationally broadcast MLS games. All games on both networks will also include pre- and post-game shows. NBC will have digital rights to all their games as well, possibly further expanding availability.

This does not mean that FSC's relationship with MLS is entirely over, though. The channel retains rights to CONCACAF Champions League matches. FSC officials have said they made a very similar bid in terms of absolute dollars as NBC (reportedly about $10 million per year), but that this was really about reaching more viewers. The reality was and remains that FSC's bread and butter is English Premier League.

Continue

NBC Deal Reportedly Worth $10 Million Per Year For MLS

The news that broke today about NBC and Major League Soccer agreeing to a three-year deal for the network giant to broadcast league games starting in 2012. Many wondered how much the deal with be worth for the young league. 

The Sports Business Daily is reporting that the two have agreed on a three-year deal worth $10 million per year. 

"This is clearly another great moment for the sport of American soccer," MLS Commissioner Don Garber told THE DAILY. "NBC has a larger audience and a greater variety of platforms, with network, cable and digital."

To put this figure into prospective, the current deal with ESPN is worth around $8.5 million a year for the league. However, that deal is part of a larger SUM/ABC/ESPN package that includes US Men's National Team games and the FIFA World Cup.

When MLS signed a one-year deal with Fox Soccer before the start of the 2011 season, it was worth $6.25 million, before this season they were only paying $3 million a year. 

Should these figured be accurate for the NBC deal, MLS is making a huge leap forward here. There is little doubt this deal will also help get the league advertised more nationally during next year's Olympics, which always bring in mega TV ratings. 

2014 will be a huge year for the league with all three TV deals expiring all at once. Should the NBC deal work out like most imagine it will for the league, their asking price for broadcast rights should only increase by that time. A good position for the league to be in at that point. 

Continue

MLS Signs New TV Deal With NBC, Signaling End To Relationship With Fox Soccer

NBC has acquired the broadcast rights to MLS, taking Fox Soccer's place as the league's primary television partner. Deals with ESPN and Televisa remain intact.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.