MLS To Debut Multi-Platform MLS+, Including NBCSN Magazine Show "MLS Insider"
MLS CMO Howard Handler said that the league is "going down the route" of ESPN's "30 for 30" and NFL Films "by investing big money in a new content and distribution group called MLS+," according to Grant Wahl of SI.com. One of the "first big initiatives, MLS Insider, is a weekly magazine show that will debut Friday on NBC Sports Network (and TSN in Canada) and feature in-depth storytelling on MLS by Emmy Award-winning director Jonathan Hock." Hock's "first show on Friday features pieces on" Red Bulls MF Tim Cahill, Galaxy F Robbie Rogers and the Union's Sons of Ben supporters group. Handler said that MLS+ is "part of the league's 10-year plan to improve the game on the field while also helping create a bigger fanbase off the field." Handler said, "The difference between what we're doing and NBA Entertainment or NFL Films is we are working with heavyweight storytellers and producers and partners that in many cases live outside our building." MLS+ also will "include mini-documentaries and digital series, which will appear on a number of platforms." Handler: "We are creating hundreds of hours of premium programming, and it's programming that we have not created thus far. So it's a very substantial investment." He added, "If we're able to be successful, this could be one of the more powerful things we do in terms of growing our fanbase" (SI.com, 6/18).