Eurosport Nets MLS Multimedia Rights Deal

When the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy open up the 2015 Major League Soccer against the Chicago Fire on March 6, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network will carry the action in the U.S. On The Continent, Eurosport will present the kickoff of MLS’s 20th season.

Discovery Communications’ controlled-Eurosport has signed a four-year, multimedia rights deal for MLS matches in all Eurosport’s European territorites outside the U.K., where the circuit has a new pact with Sky Sports.

Under the agreement covering the 2015 through 2018 campaigns, Eurosport has exclusive TV and digital rights for all regular-season matches, the All-Star game, the playoffs and the MLS Cup.  Matches  will  be  broadcast on  both Eurosport and Eurosport 2 and made available through the Eurosport Player, Eurosport’s online subscription service.

Eurosport says it broadcasts in 20 languages, reaching 136 million homes in 54 nations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The programmer’s game plan calls for it televise up four matches will live each weekend on Eurosport and Eurosport 2, including one match live on Sundays at 23:00 (CET) and another at 01:00 CET (Monday, a.m.).

A 30-minute matchday preview programme will also be broadcast on Eurosport 2 each Friday in access primetime.

As for the start of MLS’s milestone season, the company’s schedule calls for coverage of the Galaxy-Fire live on March 7 at 4:00 (CET) on Eurosport, followed at 21:00 by D.C. United-Montreal Impact on Eurosport 2. On Sunday, March 8 new franchises Orlando City SC-New York City FC square off live at 22:00 on Eurosport followed by Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls live at 00:00 on the network.

Ahead of their MLS debuts for Orlando City SC and New York City FC, respectively, Kaká and David Villa sit down with Eurosport as part of a 30-minute exclusive preview at 21:30 CET.

“It is a pleasure to be able to announce our support for the long term vision of the MLS. We see the recent signings of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as  further  proof  of  the  willingness of  the  league and  its  owners  to  invest  in  globally recognised names," said Eurosport Group Peter Hutton. This can only help us grow the MLS internationally, where we will look to show the league both live and in prime time to reach the maximum possible European audience. As we continue to improve the quality of Eurosport across the region, the new deal with the MLS is a significant step to increase our live football content as well as a sign of our belief in the potential of the league to continue to grow”.

In what is a milestone season for MLS, we are excited to announce a partnership with Eurosport that will allow us to significantly expand our international footprint,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures.“Eurosport has built its reputation on delivering world- class content to viewers across Europe, and we’re excited to be their newest partner. With two new expansion clubs, New York City FC and Orlando City SC, global stars like David Villa, Frank Lampard and Kaká set to join the league, and players representing almost 60 countries, 2015 will be an exciting year for MLS.”