MLS on NBC
|MLS on NBC|
|Also known as||Major League Soccer on NBC|
|Created by||NBC Sports|
|Theme music composer||Cody Westheimer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Sam Flood|
|Running time||180 minutes or until game ends (including commercials)|
|Original run||March 11, 2012 – present|
For the 2012 season, NBC Sports signed a three-year deal with MLS to nationally televise 40 matches per year, primarily on the NBC Sports Network. All NBC telecasts will include pre- and post-game coverage, and NBC intends to promote its games during its other major sporting properties, such as the Olympics. More specifically, the new deal will see three regular season and two playoff matches on NBC (the first time since 2002 that this many MLS games were to be broadcast on English-language network television), as well as 38 regular season and three playoff matches on sister channel NBCSN; both networks will also air United States men's national soccer team matches (two on each network).
NBC Sports replaced the expired deals with Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes. Previous deals with U.S. partners ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and Galavisión continued in 2012, as did with Canadian partners TSN, TSN2, and GolTV.
NBC Sports' ratings for MLS improved greatly due to the increased presence of NBCSN (fueled by their NHL television package), with ratings jumping 122 percent in the first season. Yet still, several games ranked at or near the bottom of rated sporting events and general entertainment fare, whereas ESPN's MLS coverage - railed by fans as inferior to NBC's - had higher numbers, attributed to the greater availability of ESPN and ESPN2 nationally.
In 2013, MLS averaged 115,000 viewers a game, a steep drop from 2012. Looking to capitalize on further soccer opportunities, NBC Sports acquired the rights to the Premier League from Fox Soccer in 2012, in time for the 2013–14 Premier League season. Speculation bounded on if MLS was to be treated as a second fiddle to the Premier League, which has a greater U.S. audience than the domestic league, and MLS' future with NBC was in doubt.
In 2014, NBC and MLS formally split from television negotiation deals. Fox Sports will replace NBC in U.S. television coverage of MLS for the 2015 season and beyond from a split-rights deal with ESPN.
NBC also operates a blog, ProSoccerTalk, which ran news headlines from MLS and across the world. With the arrival of Premier League to NBC in 2013, significantly more coverage of the English top-flight was added.
- Ron Burke (alternate studio host)
- JP Dellacamera (alternate play-by-play)
- Brian Dunseth (alternate color commentator)
- Robbie Earle (alternate color commentator)
- Brent Harris (alternate studio host)
- Kyle Martino (color commentator)
- John Strong (play-by-play)
- Russ Thaler (studio host)
- "NBC networks to air 41 regular-season matches in 2012". MLSSoccer.com. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- Deitsch, Richard "MLS, NBC reach deal to air games starting in 2012 season", SI.com, August 10, 2011, accessed August 17, 2011.
- Bell, Jack (August 10, 2011). "M.L.S. and NBC Sports Announce New TV Deal". The New York Times.
- May 12, 2014, Page 1. "MLS’s big play - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- Official website
- MLS News: Cody Westheimer Composes Theme Music for Major League Soccer on NBC
- For NBC the script is twofold: Tell the story of Major League Soccer while building the stature of its NBC Sports Network.
- Magic's 'Announcement' soars; NBC begins its MLS coverage
- Partnership Looks Bright For MLS And NBC
- NBC Thinking Outside the Booth with Their MLS Soccer Coverage
- NBC Sports Group Combines To Show Over 40 MLS Games in 2012
- NBC Sports Group Taps Arlo White To Call MLS Games