Sky Sports has won the rights to broadcast exclusively live Major League Soccer (MLS) from the US for the first time.
The four-year MLS deal begins in March, bringing an even wider range of coverage to Sky Sports viewers. With former England captain Steven Gerrard announcing he will sign for LA Galaxy in July, and Frank Lampard set to join New York City this summer..
David Beckham welcomed the news today: “This is another important moment that shows the continued growth of MLS. I have seen first-hand how popular soccer has become in America. Having fantastic partners such as Sky Sports on board will not only add to the coverage of the game, it will also broaden its appeal outside of US.”
Thierry Henry said: “I will never forget my time playing in MLS – it gave me some great memories and I was proud to play a role in growing the game.”
MLS has seen significant growth in recent years – allied with the improving performance of the national team there is a growing profile around the sport in the US and around the world.
MLS was originally launched in 1996 with ten teams, just two years after the FIFA World Cup was hosted in the US. Over the years it has expanded to the current system with 20 teams, and in the future will see further franchises added in New York and Orlando beginning in 2015 and Atlanta and Los Angeles in 2017.
This season, Sky Sports will show more football than ever before, up to 800 live matches. As well as Barclays Premier League, viewers can enjoy live coverage of European qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016, UEFA Champions League, Sky Bet Football League, SPFL, Capital One Cup, La Liga, Eredivisie, Copa del Rey and Coppa Italia, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and Sky Sports Victory Shield.