MLS Championship Match Returns to ABC

The Major League Soccer championship match is returning to ABC.

The MLS Cup game will be broadcast Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. on ABC, which aired the championship from 1996 through 2008.

Of the 23 MLS Cup matches, 21 have appear on either ABC or ESPN, which are both part of the Walt Disney Co.

Last year’s game aired on Fox. The rights to MLS are now held by ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision under an agreement that started in 2015 and runs through 2022.

"ABC has a rich history of soccer coverage, including MLS Cup for more than a decade in the year years of Major League Soccer,” said Burke Magnus, executive VP, programming and scheduling, at ESPN. “We are excited to once again showcase the league’s marquee event on the network.”

The MLS will be the climax of Major League Soccer’s three-week Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The playoffs include 14 team and winners of the Eastern and Western conference face of in the championship.

ESPN’s broadcast team is Jon Champion handling play-by-play, with analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Sebastian Salazar.

“We can’t think of a better way to highlight the culmination of our season than to have our championship match on ABC, said Gary Stevenson, deputy commissioner of MLS and managing director of MLS Business Venture. “This broadcast is an outstanding example of our partnership and ABC’s commitment to the continued growth of Major League Soccer.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.