Launch Of Univision Deportes Could Make It Harder To Watch MLS

UPDATE: I just received word for Univision Deportes that future games will likely be blacked out on MLS Live.

It's a bit of a minor detail that was easy to overlook: today's match between the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls has been moved from Galavision to Univision Deportes, a new cable-only Spanish-language sports channel.

In one sense, it's great that MLS will apparently be a featured part of this channel. On the other, it's looking like this could make watching MLS matches even more annoying than it already was. From best I can tell, only Dish Network subscribers even have access to this channel. Assuming games broadcast here go by the same rules as Spanish-language games broadcast on Univision and Galavision, they will be treated as national broadcasts and not be made available anywhere but on that channel. (Correction: It turns out that at least this game will be available on MLS Live. What happens in the future is unclear.)

As much as I've defended the idea that MLS benefits from the exposure it gets from the Univision network, it may be time to for the league to break down its national rights by language. I have no problem with MLS games only being broadcast in Spanish, but when those games are being played on specialty channels such as Galavision (which is generally only available on all-Spanish-language subscription tiers) and Univision Deportes (which isn't even widely available to Spanish speakers, yet), the league is cutting off millions of potential viewers.

Splitting the national rights into ones of English and Spanish would largely solve this situation. Yes, there is the potential that Univision would be less interested in those rights if they weren't given exclusive rights. But they also might be more interested in broadcaster a larger swath of games, as they now have more channels to fill.

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.