MLS signs Fox deal in the US, but 26-year relationship with Disney is over

Major League Soccer in the US has announced a series of new four-year linear TV agreements (2023-2026) with FOX Sports (FOX/FS1/FOX Deportes) and TelevisaUnivision (Univision/UNIMÁS/TUDN) in the US, and TSN & RDS in Canada.

Don Garber

MLS stressed that the new North American agreements “complement the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple starting next year”. That ground-breaking global deal cost the big tech platform around $2.5bn in total, or $250m per year.

The new US deals spell the end of a 26-year partnership between MLS and Walt Disney-owned outlets ESPN and ABC, which previously controlled a package of live MLS rights. MLS said the new agreements “are designed to run through 2026 – the year of the most important moment in the sport’s history on this continent when the FIFA World Cup will be hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico”. FOX Sports, TSN and RDS also have US and Canada rights for that event.

“We are proud to continue our partnerships with FOX Sports, Univision and TSN, and we are pleased to have MLS matches on RDS in Canada,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “These broadcast industry leaders continue to demonstrate their deep commitment to MLS and soccer. Our linear agreements, along with our partnership with Apple, are the culmination of a series of collaborative discussions to provide our fans with the most expansive and accessible lineup of programming MLS and our sport in the U.S. and Canada have ever seen – and by a significant margin.”

In addition to live rights allocations,the agreements include highlight rights to increase year-round MLS coverage by FOX Sports, TelevisaUnivision, TSN and RDS, and also include extensive marketing and promotional support from all network partners.

Tags: Disney, Fox, Fox Sports, MLS, US

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