It’s a sign of the changing broadcast landscape and another win for LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer cord-cutters across the United States, as the league and Twitter have reached a three-year agreement to provide weekly programming including live matches, highlights, and features. The deal, announced on March 9, will see twitter, via @UnivisionSports, broadcast up to 24 live matches in 2018 in English on the social media platform.
The first of these matches took place over the weekend where Real Salt Lake hosted MLS expansion side Los Angeles Football Club.
“MLS constantly strives to connect with fans in new and innovative ways,” said Chris Schlosser, SVP Media, MLS. “Our fans are the youngest and most socially engaged in pro sports, which is why we are excited to partner with Twitter to feature live matches on their platform.”
For Galaxy fans, this is an opportunity to watch their team play four matches on Twitter. The first two chances will be road games against the Chicago Fire (Saturday, April 14, 12:30 PM PT), and FC Dallas (Saturday, May 12, 12:30 PM PT). The only Galaxy home game to be broadcast as part of the deal will be when the Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, May 25 at 8:00 PM PT. The final Galaxy game will be the return leg of the Cali-Clasico when the Galaxy travel to Stanford Stadium on Saturday, June 30 (7:00 PM PT).
- Saturday, April 14, 12:30 PM PT – Chicago vs LA Galaxy (Univision, Twitter)
- Saturday, May 12, 12:30 PM PT – FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy (Unimas, Twitter)
- Friday, May 25, 8:00 PM PT – LA Galaxy vs San Jose (Unimas, Twitter)
- Saturday, June 30, 7:00 PM PT – San Jose vs LA Galaxy (Unimas, Twitter)
“We are excited to collaborate with Major League Soccer to bring live soccer matches and video highlights to Twitter,” said Kay Madati, VP and Global Head of Content Partnerships, Twitter. “Passionate MLS fans will now have live match day action alongside real-time commentary from experts and fellow fans all in one place on Twitter.”
Twitter has worked with MLS in the past around some of the league’s special events. That includes creating unique content around the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, Heneiken Rivalry Week, Decision Day presented by AT&T, and MLS Cup.
Twitter will be offering advertising packages for the content to be made available to sponsors.
A complete list of games being broadcast on Twitter can be found below.
While all of these games were already available to Galaxy fans via Univision or Unimas, this gives those without TV access a way to watch Galaxy games without a subscription. How this will affect future national TV, or local broadcast TV deals, will certainly play out in the future, as there are already MLS teams that have online-only broadcast deals for their non-nationally televised games.
The Galaxy are currently in year six of a 10-year local broadcasting deal with Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable), in which two sperate channels – one in English and one in Spanish – were created to broadcast the Galaxy’s non-nationally televised games. The deal, signed in 2011 and put into operation in 2012, is worth $55-million over the entire period and sees the Galaxy get $5.5 million per year. This remains the most lucrative local broadcasting contract in terms of local broadcasting rights in the league.