FOX begins new MLS era in competition with MLS Season Pass

Under a new television deal with Major League Soccer, FOX Sports no longer has exclusive rights. FOX Sports find themselves in the odd position of pitching the Apple TV as they are the only TV partner left in the MLS and all games are in the MLS Season Pass. At the same time, FOX is competing with the MLS Season Pass for viewers. This is the complexity of the new MLS media rights agreement.

For example, since this opening weekend, FOX’s terrestrial network has been showing Nashville vs. NYCFC, with John Strong and Stu Holden making calls with Alexi Laras sitting in the studio critic’s chair. However, viewers can choose to watch the game for free with his MLS Season Pass. And who are the announcers for the MLS Season Pass Nashville-NYCFC game? Commentators Keith Costigan and Maurice Edu, who have worked for FOX in the past.

MLS realized they needed FOX Sports to broadcast the league to casual fans. In doing so, the league hopes these games will help sell MLS Season Pass subscriptions. For FOX Sports, the benefits of the relationship are less clear. Indeed, the broadcaster hopes fans of the US Men’s National Team will take to the network for FOX’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2026.

FOX competing with the MLS Season Pass

In the 2023 MLS TV schedule, FOX Sports will play 15 regular season games on FOX and 19 on FS1. Of those 34, a hand-picked game will be broadcast live on FOX Deportes.

The FOX Deportes Calling Match features talents such as John Laguna and Rodolfo Landeros, Claudio Suárez, Mariano Trujillo, Martin “Pulpo” Zuniga and Alvaro Izquierdo.

Broadcasting in English and Spanish, FOX Sports will air from 2023 to 2026. FOX Sports has the televised rights to his MLS Cup Finals and eight of his MLS Cup playoff games each season, in addition to his regular season games mentioned above. .

For the English-language coverage of the League Cup, FOX channels linear coverage of these games. The linear channel will feature 10 group stages, 4 rounds of 32 and 2 rounds of 16 clashes. Notably, the League Cup final will not have a linear TV broadcast in English. Instead, it’s only available through the MLS Season Pass.

Photo credit: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

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