MLS and NBC agree to a three-year TV deal

Posted: August 11, 2011

Major League Soccer and the NBC Sports Group have agreed to a three-year media rights agreement that begins at the start of the 2012 MLS season.

The deal calls for 45 MLS games and four U.S. men's national team contests to be televised live on both NBC and NBC Sports Network each season. NBC Sports Network is the newly named cable channel that will be rebranded from Versus on Jan. 2, 2012.

Each season NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff games, and two appearances by the U.S. men's national team. The NBC Sports Network will televise 38 regular-season games, three playoff games, and two U.S. men's national team matches.

According to Sports Business Journal, MLS will receive $10 million per year for the three years.

Jon Miller, the president of programming at NBC Sports and Versus/NBC Sports Network, declined to comment on the rights fee.

This contract replaces the one that is up after this season with Fox Soccer Channel.

MLS games will also still appear on ESPN/ESPN2 and Univision. Those deals expire after the 2014 season.

Comcast, which purchased NBC Universal, has MLS partnerships with five Comcast SportsNets, including Philadelphia.

"This continues to reinforce just the growth pattern this league is on," Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz said.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com,

or @sjnard on Twitter.

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