MLS, Fox Sports agree to new 4-year broadcast deal

Fox Sports will keep on broadcasting Major League Soccer games in the U.S. as part of a four-year agreement, ending the run of ESPN and ABC, which had carried matches since the league launched in 1996.

MLS also announced linear television agreements on Tuesday with TSN and RDS in Canada and TelevisaUnivision.

MLS went with only one television partner in the U.S. due to its 10-year partnership with Apple that begins next season.

The rights deal with Apple, first announced in July, allows fans to watch every game without local blackouts or restrictions.

Fox Sports will carry at least 34 regular-season, eight playoff matches and the MLS championship. At least 15 regular-season games will air on Fox, with the remainder on FS1. All Fox and FS1 matches will air in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

The agreement also includes 16 Leagues Cup matches on FS1 through the round of 16. Beginning next season, the Leagues Cup will be a summer competition between MLS teams and Liga MX clubs. TelevisaUnivision will air 21 Leagues Cup matches, including the final.

TSN and RDS will average two matches per week across the season’s 34 rounds, including one per round involving a Canadian team. It also includes eight playoff matches, the MLS championship and some Leagues Cup matches.

The linear deals complete the framework of MLS’ rights deals after the Apple announcement. MLS Season Pass will be available in over 100 countries exclusively through the Apple TV+ app beginning next year.

MLS Season Pass will launch on Feb. 1, while the 2023 season begins on Feb. 25 with a full slate of games., including defending champion Los Angeles FC facing the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl. LAFC beat Philadelphia on penalty kicks for its first MLS title.

The league will have a more streamlined schedule beginning next season, with most matches played on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. local time and some on Wednesdays. MLS intends to announce its schedule this month.

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