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SBD/May 13, 2014/Media
ESPN, Fox Bet Big On Future Of MLS With Combined Eight-Year, $720M TV Deal
Published May 13, 2014
TIMING IS EVERYTHING: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes "everything aligned" for MLS to "make deals with ESPN, Fox and Univision worth a combined" $90M annually from '15-22. First, the market for sports rights "has been exploding." Second, Fox owns the rights to the '18 FIFA World Cup and "covets further soccer programming." Third, ESPN and Fox "recognize that the next decade for MLS might be brighter than its present." A change to the league’s national TV schedule "could elevate viewership." Shanks said, "We have a loyal and rabid fan base for MLS. We intend to expand that reach." Skipper: "We reach 115 million fans every week. It’s a question of where we turn on the promotional fire hose" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/13).