• Loading stock data...
Saturday, June 22, 2024

ESPN’s 27-Year Run With MLS Ends

  • ESPN was reportedly unwilling to pay a large fee for non-exclusive MLS games.
  • Apple entered an exclusive, 10-year agreement with the league earlier this year.
Multiple soccer balls on sideline of MLS game
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN is officially through broadcasting MLS games.

The soccer league entered an exclusive, 10-year media deal with Apple earlier this year, worth at least $250 million annually — leaving ESPN, Fox, and Univision with only nonexclusive options.

ESPN was reportedly unwilling to pay a large fee for nonexclusive games and had concerns over the potential for Apple to make games available outside a paywall, which could deter viewers from watching on TV.

  • The Disney network has broadcast the league since it began in 1996.
  • Between ESPN’s pay-TV channels and ABC, the networks brought in an average 343,000 viewers per game last season — the highest since 2007.

Univision, whose relationship with MLS also started in 1996 and has been mainstay since 2007, will not broadcast any regular-season or playoff games as part of the new deal, but will air Leagues Cup matches. Apple’s agreement includes Spanish broadcasts and French broadcasts for Canadian teams’ games.

Fox has renewed its deal and will broadcast 34 regular-season games annually, eight Audi MLS Cup playoff matches each season, the MLS Cup, and select Leagues Cup matches.

TSN and RDS signed their own deals in Canada. 

MLS Cup in front of advertisement for Apple as the new media partner for the league

Apple And MLS Reveal Streaming Plan In First Year of $2.5B Deal

As part of historic deal, ‘MLS Season Pass’ launches Feb. 1, 2023.
November 16, 2022

Apple’s Agenda

Apple’s new deal runs from 2023-32. Games will be made available through a new subscription service in the Apple TV+ app that costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Everton FC owner Farhad Moshiri stands on the pitch at Goodison Park Stadium.

Another U.S. Takeover? Houston-Based Group in Talks With Everton

The English soccer club continues to look for a new owner.

Clark vs. Reese: Priciest WNBA Game Set for Record-Breaking Viewership

Ticket pricing has already set a league record, while viewership expectations are lofty.

MLB’s Rickwood Game Plans Change Significantly After Passing of Mays

The special-event game at the historic Negro League park follows the death of the iconic Willie Mays.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How Women’s Sports Media is Charting Its Own Path


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

Finals Draw Underwhelming Viewership, but NBA Juggernaut Rolls On

The impact will be negligible on the NBA’s $76 billion media-rights talks.
June 20, 2024

The NFL Could Be the Key to Stephen A. Smith’s ESPN Future

Can Stephen A. Smith become the next Howard Cosell?
June 20, 2024

TV Companies Losing Subscribers As Sports Rights Deals Continue to Rise

Four major TV provider companies reported huge losses.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
June 18, 2024

Caitlin Clark Continues to be Enormous Box Office for the WNBA

Sunday’s Fever-Sky game was the most-watched WNBA broadcast in 23 years.
June 18, 2024

Roger Goodell Rips ‘Below Standard’ NFL Network Broadcasts in Trial Testimony

The commissioner testified in federal court that NFL Network was subpar.
June 18, 2024

ESPN’s Up-and-Down NBA Season Ends With Finals to Forget

The Finals are set to stay on ESPN through 2036.
June 17, 2024

Leagues’ Disclosure Demands Add Complexity to DSG’s Bankruptcy Exit

The bankrupt regional sports network operator makes an emergency motion for a discovery conference.