Univision received plenty. For the next eight years, it will own Friday nights, exclusively broadcasting a minimum of 34 games each season on UniMás at 7 p.m. or 11 p.m. ET. It has the exclusive rights to two matches in the opening round of the playoffs, and the Spanish-language rights for MLS Cup, the MLS All-Star Game and all U.S. men’s national team matches. Univision also obtained digital rights across all platforms and mobile devices for the games it televises.
Besides the $15 million annual rights fee, MLS is receiving increased coverage on Univision’s networks, including two hours of “ancillary programming” around many of its Friday night telecasts and a weekly Sunday, one-hour MLS wrapup show. Univision also has pledged to include an MLS segment in all of its sports news shows and make MLS players a part of telecasts of its non-sports events, like the Latin Grammy Awards.
“Univision really wants to integrate MLS and U.S. Soccer into the network brand and culture,” Stevenson said. “That’s a big boost to our strategy to reach Hispanic audiences.”
Said Rodriguez: “I told MLS that ‘The Big U’ would be a very helpful resource for the league growing its business. We want to give the U.S. national team the same level of coverage that we give the Mexican national team. We believe that if the planets align, the U.S. is going to host the World Cup in 2026 or 2030.”