MLS Season Launch; Jake Paul-Tommy Fury PPV Boxing: What’s On This Weekend in TV Sports (February 25-26)

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Image credit: Getty Images )

This weekend’s full lineup of top live TV sports action begins on the soccer field as Major League Soccer launches its 28th season exclusively on Fox and FS1.

Fox will telecast the New York City FC-Nashville SC MLS match on Saturday, while FS1 will air the Seattle Sounders FC-Colorado Rapids game. The games officially launch Fox Sports’s four-year linear TV deal with MLS.

On the NBA court, ABC will air a Saturday primetime matchup between Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. On Sunday ABC will air an afternoon NBA doubleheader featuring the Phoenix Suns-Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers-Dallas Mavericks contests, while ESPN’s primetime doubleheader includes the Minnesota Timberwolves-Golden State Warriors and L.A. Clippers-Denver Nuggets games. 

Week two of pro-football league the XFL will launch Saturday with the D.C-Vegas game on FX, while ESPN on Sunday will air the San Antonio-Orlando game and ESPN2 will offer the Arlington-Houston contest.

In the ring, YouTube star Jake Paul on Sunday will look to advance his boxing career when he faces Tommy Fury in the main event of an ESPN Plus pay-per-view boxing card on Sunday. On Saturday, Showtime will telecast a live fight card headlined by the junior welterweight championship fight between Subriel Matias and Jeremias Ponce.

The men’s college basketball lineup begins with top-ranked Houston traveling to face the Pirates of East Carolina on ESPN2, second-ranked Alabama taking on Arkansas on ESPN2, third-ranked Kansas taking on West Virginia on ESPN and fifth-ranked Purdue hosting No. 17 Indiana on Fox. On Sunday, fourth-ranked UCLA plays Colorado on CBS. 

Saturday’s women’s college basketball schedule of top-ranked teams includes fourth-ranked UConn playing DePaul on Fox. On Sunday, top-ranked South Carolina hosts Georgia on ESPN2, second-ranked Indiana battles No.6 Iowa on ESPN, and fifth-ranked LSU meets Mississippi State on the SEC Network. 

On the links, NBC and Golf Channel will offer weekend coverage of the PGA Honda Classic golf tournament, while Fox will continue its NASCAR coverage with the Sunday telecast of the Pala Casino 400 race. 

On the ice, ABC on Saturday afternoon will telecast the N.Y. Rangers-Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins-St. Louis Blues NHL games. ■

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.