ESPN secures MLS rights in Latin America and Caribbean

4 March 2019 | Broadcasting & New Media
ESPN secures MLS rights in Latin America and Caribbean
ESPN, the Disney-owned sports broadcaster, has replaced Fox Sports as the Major League Soccer (MLS) rights holder in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of a four-year deal through 2022.

The agreement will include all US professional soccer league’s 408 regular-season matches, as well as the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, the MLS All-Star Game, and the MLS Cup.

Games will air live on ESPN linear networks across Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean, including ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPN Caribbean and ESPN Play, ESPN’s multiscreen live and on-demand broadband service in the region.

“This agreement with MLS reflects our steadfast commitment to deliver world-class soccer content to fans across Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Michael Walters, ESPN’s Vice President for Programming and Acquisitions.

“We are thrilled to continue expanding our content offering and build on the success we have had over the years in showcasing marquee soccer leagues to fans in the region.”

The rights deal was signed off ahead of the opening weekend of the 2019 MLS season last week. Seth Bacon, MLS Senior Vice President of Media, said that the move marks “significant investment in attracting world class talent from across the Americas”.

“This new agreement with ESPN will allow us to showcase these players to one of the most soccer-savvy audiences in the world,” Bacon added. “We know that ESPN’s multi-platform approach to distributing content will give fans more opportunity than ever to engage with MLS.”

Elsewhere, IMG has also agreed a deal with Fox Sports to stream MLS matches via Strive Sport, the international rights agency’s Scandinavian over-the-top (OTT) service, across Denmark, Norway and Sweden through 2022.

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