MLS To Begin TV Deal Talks

MLS To Begin TV Deal Talks

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 3, 2013
  • MLS TV Contracts

All of Major League Soccer’s TV deals will expire at the end of next season. So the hunt for new deals are already starting to kick off for the league as they have a little more than a year to get new deals done.

Recently appointed President & Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures Gary Stevenson has as his chief responsibility these negotiations, and today we got a bit more information on how that might work.


Evolution Media Capital is a division of CAA, one of the top mega agencies around, and was key in the negotiation of Pac-10 expansion and the Pac-12 Network. Gary Stevenson was President of Pac-12 Enterprises before joining Major League Soccer.

We don’t know all of the specifics yet but with expansion set for 2015 in New York City and possibly Orlando, the league is in a good position to get a new deal with several outlets that will be better than their current deals. Throw in the fact that next year is a World Cup year, the deal could be even sweeter.

It’s possible we could see MLS carve out a new package, or allow for more flexibility with which games get broadcast. The current deals are $80 million/eight years with Univision signed in 2006 to broadcast 25 MLS games a year, 10 U.S. men’s national team games and five international games operated by Soccer United Marketing. ESPN paid $64 million/eight years for a deal that includes regular season games, the All Star Game and MLS Cup. In 2011, NBC signed a $30 million/three year deal for 45 MLS matches and four U.S. men’s national team games each season.

Most fans would agree that getting more flexible TV schedules would be big. There have been plenty of times this season where the top teams were playing one another but not on national TV. Or they were on national TV but in a horrible time slot.