TSN Becomes Official Canadian Broadcaster Of MLS In Six-Year Deal
MLS yesterday formally announced a new six-year broadcast rights agreement making TSN the league's official Canadian partner. TSN and TSN2 will combine to broadcast 24 games live during the '11 season, all involving at least one of MLS' two Canadian franchises: Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Beginning next year, when the Montreal Impact join MLS, TSN and TSN2 will air 30 regular-season MLS games featuring at least one Canadian club. TSN also receives broadcast rights for the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup. In addition, TSN's sister network RDS owns French-language broadcast rights in Canada in anticipation of the Impact's expansion season (MLS). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Etan Vlessing noted the CBC and Rogers Sportsnet, who previously owned national MLS rights in Canada, will "still have a chance to bid on local rights" in Canada for games this coming season. But an MLS spokesperson said TSN has "first priority" to select games during the six-year term of the agreement. The MLS deal is "only the latest from TSN after the cable sports channel snagged the rights to the Tour de France pro cycling race in July, and the exclusive local rights" to the '12 and '16 Euro Cups (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/14).