|Number of teams||18|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Ascenso MX|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa MX|
|International cup(s)||CONCACAF Champions League
|Current champions||Tijuana (1st title)
|Most championships||C.D. Guadalajara (11 titles)|
|TV partners|| Televisa
Sky Sports Mexico
Fox Sports LA
Al Jazeera Sports
|2012–13 Liga MX season|
The Liga MX is the top level of the Mexican football league system. It was established in 1943 and as of 2012 has 18 clubs. Up to June 2011, it was divided into three groups competing for league titles. However, in July 2011, groups were removed. Each season the league holds two tournaments: the Apertura, which starts in the summer, and the Clausura, which starts in the winter. The league is currently ranked number 11 in the world and number 10 in the last decade (2001–2010) by the IFFHS.
Amateur era 
Prior to the Liga Mayor, there was no national football league in Mexico, and football competitions were held within relatively small geographical regions. The winners of the Primera Fuerza, a local league consisting of teams near and around Mexican Federal District, was considered the national competition. There were other regional leagues such as the Liga Veracruzana, Liga Occidental of Jalisco and Liga del Bajío that also had notable clubs. Many club owners were not keen on the idea of establishing a professional league, despite paying players under the table. With the increasing demand of football, there was a sense of urgency to unite all the local amateur leagues in Mexico to progress as a football nation. The professional national league was finally established in 1943.
Professional era 
When the F.M.F. announced the formation of the nation's first professional league, many clubs petitioned to join the newly formed league. The F.M.F. announced that ten clubs would form the Liga Mayor (Major League). The first members of the league were founded by six clubs of the Primera Fuerza of Mexico City, two clubs from the Liga Occidental and two members from the Liga Veracruzana Managed by Eduardo Escoto "Shrek".
Founding members 
- Primera Fuerza: América, Asturias, Atlante, Real España, and Marte.
- Liga Occidental De Jalisco: Atlas and Guadalajara.
- Liga Amateur de Veracruz : Orizaba, Veracruz and Moctezuma.
Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, many small clubs faced economic difficulties which were attributed to the lack of international competition by Mexican clubs and an unrewarding league format. Mexican clubs that placed high in the league standings could not afford to participate in prestigious international tournaments such as the Copa Libertadores as did many South American and European clubs.
The Mexican league boom 
The 1970 World Cup held in Mexico was the first World Cup televised on a grand scale. The season following the FIFA World Cup, the F.M.F. changed the league format and established a playoff phase to determine the national champion. This was done to regenerate interest and reward teams that placed fairly high in the standings.
The playoff, called in Mexico "liguilla", was played in different ways to get two finalists and play two games to define the champion. The regular way was by direct elimination rounds using the top 8 teams of the table or, when groups existed, the top 2 teams of each group. During some sessions, the best third placed teams were allowed to play a match against the lowest 2 second places in a repechaje in a chance to be promoted to the playoffs. This was eliminated as long as the calendar was modified to fit with the international compromises of both teams and Mexican National Team members.
Other way practiced to define finalists was by doing two groups of 4 teams and making them play round robin games in home/away stadiums so they can complete 6 games and then the top team in the group passed to the Finals. This was used very few as long as the teams found out that teams that had not much to fight after 3 or 4 plays began to lost support for the last games.
The change in the rules affected teams that traditionally dominated the table as happen with Chivas del Guadalajara and favored other teams that, even not being so regular in the regular seasons, were able to perform well in the play-offs winning several championships due to that, as happens with Cruz Azul in the 70s, America in the 80s and Toluca in the 2000s.
Regular season tournaments 
In 1996, the league decided to split the season into two championships. This measure was done to generate additional revenues to finance the F.M.F.'s lower divisions. The league holds two tournaments per year, originally called invierno (winter) and verano (summer), now changed to apertura (opening - running from August to December) and clausura (closing - running from January to May). The change was done to correspond with FIFA's world footballing calendar, which "opens" in July/August and "closes" in April/May of the next year. So throughout the footballing world, the action lasts about ten months. In Europe, where tournaments are played as one single championship throughout the year, there is only one champion per year. In the case of Mexico, Argentina and other countries in South America, a new champion is crowned about every five months, or two per year.
Every season, The 18 teams are split into three groups of six, either group one, group two, or group three. They remain in their respective groups throughout the two tournaments played that season. The qualification phase of the tournament lasts 17 weeks, as all teams play each other once per tournament in a home and home series over both tournaments. The qualifying teams reach the liguilla phase of the respective tournament. As of June 7, 2011 the League has decided to do away with the 3 groups and allow the top 8 to directly qualify to the "Liguilla" phase of the tournament, thus eliminating the 'Repechaje' match when a 4th place team from one group had more points than the third place team from a different group, along with that, they also changed who the qualifiers from the Apertura would be for the 2012 Edition of the Copa Libertadores, which would be the top 3 team who are not qualified for the Concacaf champions league or Conca-champions as the tournament is called.
La liguilla (the playoffs) 
La liguilla is the playoff phase of the tournament. This phase starts with eight qualifying teams and is played in the "tie" format in two-leg aggregate-score, similar to the quarterfinals and semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. The first six qualifying teams are the two best clubs from each of the three groups. The best two clubs on the General Classification Table who are not among the top two in their respective group round up the eight qualifiers. The Elimination bracket goes from an 8 team quarterfinal, to a 4 team semifinal, and a final. The Champion team is awarded the First division trophy, and the runner up is awarded a smaller version of the trophy as well. Each player receives a medal respective to their team's placement. The birth of la liguilla in 1970, modernized the league despite the disagreements between the traditionalists and the modernists. Clubs that were near bankruptcy were now better able to compete and generate profits.
At the end of a season, after the Apertura and Clausura tournaments, one team is relegated to the next lower division, Ascenso MX, and one team from that division is promoted and takes the place left open by the relegated team. Currently, the relegated team is determined by computing the points-per-game-played ratio for each team, considering all the games played by the team during the last three seasons (six tournaments). The team with the lowest ratio is relegated. For teams recently promoted, only the games played since their promotion are considered (two or four tournaments). The team promoted from Ascenso MX is the winner of a two-leg match between the champions of the Apertura and Clausura tournaments of that division. If a team becomes the champion in both tournaments, it is automatically promoted.
Current Teams 
|Liga MX since...||Consecutive
|Atlante||Cancún, Quintana Roo||1943-44||87||1991-92||40||3||Estadio Andrés Quintana Roo||20,000||1916|
|Cruz Azul||Mexico City||1964-65||68||1964-65||68||8||Azul||35,161||1927|
|La Piedad||La Piedad, Michoacán||2000-01||1||2013-14||1||0||Estadio Juan N. López||20,000||1951|
|Monterrey||Monterrey, Nuevo León||1945-46||74||1960-61||72||4||Tecnológico||36,485||1945|
|San Luis||San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí||1971-72||24||2005-06||16||0||Alfonso Lastras||30,000||1957|
|UANL||Monterrey, Nuevo León||1974-75||55||1997-98||32||3||Universitario||42,000||1967|
|Tijuana||Tijuana, Baja California||2011-12||4||2011-12||4||1||Caliente||21,000||2007|
|Toluca||Toluca, Estado de México||1953-54||79||1953-54||79||10||Nemesio Díez||27,000||1917|
|UNAM||Mexico City||1962-63||70||1962-63||70||7||Olímpico Universitario||63,186||1954|
Uniform Kit and sponsorship 
The basic mandatory uniform for a player will be: 1. Game jersey, shorts, socks, shinguards and footwear. If using pants and / or thermal shirt, they must be the same color as the shorts or sleeve. As an exception to the above, if the supplier of uniforms for a club not provide thermal shirts the same color, then any color may be used if it is not confused with the color of opposing club, and the same color is used uniformly by all the players of the same club. 2. Goalkeeper: Each goalkeeper wears colors that distinguish him from other players, the referee and assistant referee. 3. Players are prohibited from using belts, hats, wristbands, shorts and / or thermal shirt commercial advertising not authorized by the Club. 4. Security: Players will not use or carry objects that are dangerous to themselves or other players (including any kind of jewelry).
Clubs may carry commercial advertising on their uniforms, provided that the colors of the Club, player number, the official emblem of the Club and the FMF can be clearly identified.
In theory, all First Division clubs have the right to sell their own broadcast rights. What this means in practice is that the league is effectively divided between teams broadcast on Televisa, TV Azteca, Fox Sports, ESPN Dos in México, and Azteca América, Telemundo, and Univision (who owns UniMás and Galavisión) in the United States. Televisa and TV Azteca have an agreement in which Televisa will take 10 teams' rights and Azteca 8. In previous years, when a team got relegated, the team that got promoted have could only negotiate with the company that had the television rights of the team that got relegated. This agreement was cancelled by the Liga MX when Club León in 2012 was promoted, and started to have disappointments with TV Azteca about his TV rights. Nowadays, Club León matches are broadcasted in Fox Sports and some additional online media sites in Mexico and Telemundo in USA.
Telelatino and Fox Sports World hold broadcasting rights in Canada; Fox Sports is the only network that holds rights to broadcast selected matches in United States and South America. Additionally, Televisa-owned networks Sky Sports and TDN hold exclusive broadcasting rights over selected matches throughout the regular season, although the majority of the most important ones are broadcast live on the national networks.
Most of the Saturday afternoon and evening matches broadcasted by Televisa are shown primarily on Galavision, though some Saturday games, those played by Televisa's club America, are played on Televisa's flagship network, Canal de las Estrellas. However, a blackout policy is usually applied, so Galavision affiliates are forced to air alternate programming during the matches. Sunday noon and afternoon games broadcast by Televisa are shown on Canal de las Estrellas. All of the games broadcast by TV Azteca on Saturday and Sunday are shown on Azteca 13; Friday's matches however are shown on Azteca 7. The Wednesday and Thursday matches picked by the national networks are shown on Canal 5 and Azteca 7 and the rest of the matches air on Sky Sports and TDN.
A recent rule, in effect since 2011, obligated teams to play the final game of every season at Sunday during prime time, regardless of whether the team used to play local games in another timeslot, in order to capture more television audience during the game.
Primera División – league system champions (1943–1970) 
Primera División – liguilla system champions (1970–1996) 
- **Decided on goal difference
Primera División – short tournament champions (1996–present) 
- *Not official/recognized title
Titles by club 
|Guadalajara||11||1956-57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1969–70, 1986–87, Verano 1997, Apertura 2006|
|Toluca||10||1966-67, 1967–68, 1974–75, Verano 1998, Verano 1999, Verano 2000, Apertura 2002, Apertura 2005, Apertura 2008, Bicentenario 2010|
|América||10||1965-66, 1970–71, 1975–76, 1983–84, 1984–85, PRODE 85, 1987–88, 1988–89, Verano 2002, Clausura 2005|
|Cruz Azul||8||1968-69, Mexico 70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1978–79, 1979–80, Invierno 1997|
|UNAM||7||1976-77, 1980–81, 1990–91, Clausura 2004, Apertura 2004, Clausura 2009, Clausura 2011|
|Pachuca||5||Invierno 1999, Invierno 2001, Apertura 2003, Clausura 2006, Clausura 2007|
|León||5||1947-48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1991–92|
|Monterrey||4||Mexico 86, Clausura 2003, Apertura 2009, Apertura 2010|
|Santos Laguna||4||Invierno 1996, Verano 2001, Clausura 2008, Clausura 2012|
|Tigres UANL||3||1977-78, 1981–82, Apertura 2011|
|Atlante||3||1946-47, 1992–93, Apertura 2007|
|Necaxa†||3||1994-95, 1995–96, Invierno 1998|
|Real Club España†||1||1944-45|
† Teams no longer in the First Division.
Promotion and relegation 
Relegation and Promotion by Club
- 1976-77: Tampico bought San Luis's spot in first division
- 1977-78: Deportivo Neza is bought Club de Fútbol Laguna and took its spot.
- 1981-82: Tampico bought Atletas Campesinos and took over its spot
- 1983-84: Ángeles de Puebla bought Oaxtepec and took over its spot
- 1988-89: Veracruz bought Neza and took over its spot
- 1992-93: U.T. Neza changes its name to Toros Neza
- Ver. 99: Puebla bought U.D Curtidores and took over its spot
See also 
- Primera Fuerza
- Ascenso MX
- Segunda División de México
- Tercera División de México
- Campeón de Campeones
- Copa MX
- Football in Mexico
- Mexican Football Federation
- Mexican football transfers 2006–07
- "Historia del futbol en México". Femexfut. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- Reglamento De Competencia Primera División Profesional 2010-2011, pg. 34 articulo 65, http://femexfut.org.mx/portalv2/webservices/ws_fmfdocumento.aspx?TipoDocumento=reglamentos&Division=6&Temporada=61, retrieved 2010-11-14
- Reglamento De Competencia Primera División Profesional 2010-2011, pg. 35 articulo 67, http://femexfut.org.mx/portalv2/webservices/ws_fmfdocumento.aspx?TipoDocumento=reglamentos&Division=6&Temporada=61, retrieved 2010-11-14
- Fox Sports adquiere los derechos de transmisión del Club Mexicano León F.C.
- Official website (Spanish)
- Map of all Mexican clubs
- Results, Games, Standings (Spanish) (English)
- MedioTiempo Website (Spanish)
- Mexican League Top Goalscorers, Season by Season (Spanish)