Days after the 2011 MLS campaign kicked off, the New York Red Bulls and MSG Networks have come to terms on a new three-year TV deal.
The agreement extends MSG’s relationship with the soccer club, which had been exploring other options. The previous deal saw the Red Bulls contributing $250,000 in production costs per season, while MSG invested $750,000. Per terms of that three-year pact, MSG retained all ad sales and sponsorship dollars.
Terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.
When the 2008-10 contract expired, the Red Bulls were said to be considering a more lucrative deal whereby they would produce their televised games and then sell them to a local outlet (My9-WWOR) for as much as $50,000 a piece.
Ultimately, the club elected to stay with MSG, which has been the TV home of the Red Bulls since 1996.
Under the new contract, fans this season will have access to 24 of New York’s 32 regular-season games, up from 22 a year ago. MSG will also produce pre- and postgame shows for select matches. All 24 telecasts will be produced in hi-def.
“MSG Networks and the Red Bulls have a long history together, and we are proud to have them return for their 16th season,” said Dan Ronayne, evp and general manager, MSG Networks, by way of announcing the deal. “We look forward to once again providing New York soccer fans with exclusive local coverage of the Red Bulls.”
While soccer doesn’t generate the sort of ratings delivered by MSG’s Knicks and Rangers telecasts, the Red Bulls slate is particularly attractive as it provides live sports content in an otherwise fallow summer season.
Favored to win the MLS Cup, the Red Bulls won their March 19 home opener against Seattle 1-0. On Saturday, March 26, New York tied Columbus, bringing their 2011 record to 1-0-1.