Today Major League Soccer announced a new, six-year broadcast rights agreement with TSN, Canada’s most-watched specialty network. In 2011, TSN and TSN2 will combine to broadcast 24 regular season games live – all involving at least one of the two Canadian-based clubs in MLS – Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
This season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will feature 13 times on TSN/TSN2, including the first two all-Canadian matches in MLS history on March 19 and June 29. Beginning next year, TSN and TSN2 will combine to broadcast 30 regular season MLS games featuring at least one Canadian club.
“TSN has a well-earned reputation as a world-class sports broadcaster, with top level production values and a true passion for sport; we’re incredibly pleased to have them as our national broadcast partner,” said Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Paul Barber. “We know our fans are looking forward to the national derby matches with Toronto this year - and are already looking forward to next year’s clashes with Montreal. Having a long-term partnership with such a respected broadcaster will help these rivalries continue to grow and engage fans, and will mean great things for the growth of the league and the sport of soccer in Canada.”
As the official broadcaster of MLS in Canada, TSN also holds broadcast rights for the MLS AT&T All-Star Game, the MLS Cup playoffs, and the league’s championship game, MLS Cup. TSN will also broadcast select additional matches between two U.S.-based teams to its lineup of MLS coverage beginning this season through 2016. French-language broadcasting rights in Canada belong to TSN’s sister networks RDS and RDS2 as part of the deal in anticipation of next year, when Montreal Impact join MLS as an expansion club.
“We are very pleased to partner with TSN, the leading sports network in Canada,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This announcement comes at an opportune time for MLS, as we enter a period of growth in Canada with the Vancouver Whitecaps joining the League this season and the Montreal Impact in 2012. We look forward to building the sport together and creating an exciting multi-media platform for soccer fans throughout the country.”
Games on TSN/TSN2 will be available live to fans in the United States via the MLS Direct Kick Package and/or Match Day Live on MLSsoccer.com.
“As we have seen with the success of Toronto FC and MLS’s expansion to Vancouver and Montreal, there is an incredible appetite for professional soccer in Canada,” said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN. “This is a long term partnership with MLS and we are looking forward to working with them not only give fans ‘best in class’ game coverage but also to help build the profile of the league and grow the game of soccer across the country.”
All MLS games on TSN and TSN2 will be broadcast in High Definition.
The schedule of matches on TSN/TSN2 is below:
2011 MLS Broadcast Schedule (TSN & TSN2)
Home team listed first; all times Pacific; subject to change
· Saturday, March 19 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC 3:30 p.m. (TSN)
· Wednesday, April 6 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. New England Revolution 7 p.m. (TSN)
· Saturday, May 28 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. New York Red Bulls 4 p.m. (TSN2)
· Saturday, June 11 Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7 p.m. (TSN2)
· Saturday, June 25 Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 5:30 p.m. (TSN)
· Wednesday, June 29 Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4:30 p.m. (TSN)
· Wednesday, July 6 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Columbus Crew 7 p.m. (TSN)
· Wednesday, July 20 San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7 p.m. (TSN)
· Wednesday, July 27 AT&T MLS All Star Game 5:30 p.m. (TSN)
· Saturday, July 30 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. LA Galaxy 4:30 p.m. (TSN)
· Saturday, Aug. 20 Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7 p.m. (TSN)
· Saturday, Aug. 27 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo 4 p.m. (TSN2)
· Saturday, Sept. 24 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 4:30 p.m. (TSN)
· Sunday, Oct. 2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers 1:30 p.m. (TSN)
TSN is Canada's Sports Leader and Canada’s most-watched specialty network. Delivering more sports coverage in High Definition than any other network in Canada, TSN's comprehensive broadcast schedule features an exciting lineup of sports including NHL, IIHF, CFL, NFL, NBA, MLB, Season of Champions Curling, Golf’s Majors, F1, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Grand Slam Tennis and Championship Boxing events. TSN properties include TSN2, TSN MOBILE and the industry leading sports website TSN.ca. Official broadcaster of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and London 2012 Games of the Olympiad, TSN is a division of CTVglobemedia.