Fire Sign Three-Year Exclusive Local Media Rights Deal With ESPN+
The upcoming ESPN+ streaming platform has "signed on to be the exclusive broadcaster of the Fire's 27 non-national games after signing a three-year contract," according to Juan Pimiento of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The club was previously with NBC Sports Chicago (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/10). MLSSoccer.com's Sam Stejskal reported the deal "will pay the Fire seven figures annually" (TWITTER.com, 3/9). Fire fans will enjoy free access to matches through MLS Live until the launch of ESPN+ this spring (Fire). Meanwhile, some visitors to the team's website voiced their displeasure with the deal. One reader wrote, "I guess this will work for me at home, but this will make it nearly impossible to watch the Fire at a bar in my neighborhood." Another wrote she "won't even be able to watch the games on TV anymore," then asked, "How do you expect to expand interest in the team if Chicagoans can't even turn on the TV and see a game?" A third reader asked, "Does any other MLS club have their media only on a paid app and one that currently doesn't even exist?" (THE DAILY).