ESPN, Fox Still Negotiating Joint Bid For MLS, U.S. Soccer Despite Delay
ESPN and Fox still are negotiating a joint bid for MLS and U.S. Soccer rights, according to ESPN Senior VP/Programming Scott Guglielmino. The networks in early January were considered front-runners for the rights package and were closing in on an eight-year deal that was worth an annual average of $70M. The month-and-a-half delay does not suggest that talks have gone south. "When we go through this process with different leagues, some of them take longer than others," Guglielmino said. "It's an ongoing conversation and discussion. I am hopeful that we will be successful in the not-too-distant future and have something to talk about." Guglielmino would not elaborate on the specific issues that are holding up negotiations for the package, which includes U.S. men's national team World Cup qualifying home matches. "It's somewhat complex in that you're dealing with two different properties, and it's a long-term deal," Guglielmino said. "It's taking a little bit longer than we would have liked, but we're going to hopefully get something done."