MLS Cup Switches To ESPN and Prime-Time

MLS Cup Switches To ESPN and Prime-Time

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 21, 2009
  • ESPN, MLS Cup

A decision that could be said to be an interesting one. The Sports Business Journal is reporting that the league owners have decided to move this year’s MLS Cup in Seattle to prime-time TV on November 22nd. The switch also sees the game go from network TV to cable TV for the first time.

The owners are hoping the later start time will enhance the stadium atmosphere which should translate into a better TV viewing experience.

Switching to Sunday night and on ESPN means the MLS Cup will go against NFL’s prime-time Sunday game.

“[We] decided to make this the move to allow us the opportunity to play the game later in the day,” MLS President Mark Abbott wrote in an e-mail. “MLS Cup had traditionally taken place during the early afternoon on Sunday, and we collectively decided to move it to the evening.”

“We have the flexibility within the partnership to try different things,” said Scott Guglielmino, vice president of programming and acquisitions at ESPN. “We’re going to continue to do that.”

The league hasn’t given word on whether or not the 2010 game will be on ABC or ESPN.

I know the move goes against prime-time football and other prime-time TV shows but the move could be good for MLS to do here. Either way the league was going to go against the NFL for the game so instead of going against five or six games at once the league will only be head-to-head against a single game. Which could be good and it could be bad. We’ll see.