NBC Sports Group has signed a three-year deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) that will see 45 MLS games and four U.S. men’s games broadcast per season on NBC and the newly branded NBC Sports Network, which will officially change its name from Versus in January 2012. The new partnership begins in 2012.
“Everyone at the NBC Sports Group is thrilled to begin this partnership with Major League Soccer,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group. “MLS is a perfect fit for our new group, and we are uniquely positioned to help grow soccer in the United States with extensive coverage on NBC Sports Network, significant programming on the broadcast network and our growing digital platforms. Additionally, this agreement complements the partnerships that five of our regional sports networks have with their local MLS teams.”
Each season NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff games and two appearances by the U.S. men’s team. The NBC Sports Network will televise 38 regular-season games, three playoff games and two U.S. men’s team matches.
“Our new partnership with the NBC Sports Group is a significant step forward for Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner and Soccer United Marketing CEO Don Garber. “The NBC Sports Group is world-renowned for its award-winning coverage, superb broadcast quality and promotional expertise. We are excited to be part of NBC’s ambitious plans for soccer, and look forward to reaching a considerable audience on multiple platforms.”