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Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer sign eight-year TV rights deal

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MLS and U.S. Soccer sign 8-year TV and media-rights deal with ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision Deportes
New deal will bring MLS Sunday doubleheaders to TV

Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer said Monday they signed an eight-year television and media-rights deal with ESPN, Fox Sports and Spanish-language Univision Deportes that begins next year.

The parties didn't disclose the contract's value. But SportsBusiness Daily reported that the deal was worth $720 million, or an average $90 million a year, a five-fold increase from what MLS receives under its current deals with ESPN, NBC and Univision.

With the new contract, the MLS noted that for the first time in its 18-year-history, all three of its TV partners would provide an MLS game of the week.

Together they "form the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of soccer in our country," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

There would be an MLS doubleheader on Sunday, with ESPN and Fox Sports 1 televising games in succession, and Univision would have an MLS game every Friday night, mainly on its UniMas outlet.

ESPN and Fox Sports 1 each year also would split the MLS Cup championship game and the 19-team league's All-Star game.

All three networks also would televise U.S. men's and women's national games, with ESPN and Fox Sports 1 splitting the men's team broadcast package of about 10 games per year.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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