MLS is eyeing a media rights deal worth $300 million annually, according to CNBC — more than three times what it currently receives.
The league’s current eight-year broadcasting deals with Fox, Disney’s ESPN, and Univision expire at the end of the season and only bring in $90 million each year.
The league is expanding and growing in popularity — the past several weeks have only confirmed it.
- This year’s MLS Cup was the most-watched on a Disney-owned network since 2009 with an average of 1.14 million viewers.
- The Thanksgiving Day playoff was the most-watched MLS game on Fox Sports, bringing in 1.8 million viewers for Fox platforms. It also had the highest MLS audience since 2004.
- MLS reportedly plans to announce a 30th team in the next 10 months, with two other teams beginning play in the 2023 season.
The league will look to sell rights in a bundle. Amazon, Apple, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS have already expressed interest.
Other Factors In New Deal
A possible concern when landing rights is market share. The NFL signed media rights deals worth $113 billion earlier this year, and Lee Burke of LHB Sports thinks such large deals in other sports could affect what’s left for MLS.
CNBC reports the deals could be closer to $200 million annually due to U.S. Soccer ending its long-term agreement with Soccer United Marketing this year.