MLS, FOX extend national broadcast rights agreement

One-year extension includes up to 31 matches

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer and FOX Soccer announced on Friday that they have extended the network’s national broadcast rights agreement for one year.

The premier soccer-only channel in North America will broadcast up to 31 regular-season games, plus three exclusive MLS Cup Playoff matches including a Conference Final – all in high definition. The package includes 15 matches on Saturday nights and 14 on Friday nights; 20 of those 31 broadcast windows are exclusive to FOX Soccer.

The 2011 FOX Soccer schedule will feature Real Salt Lake twice during the course of the season, beginning Saturday, May 14 when the Claret-and-Cobalt welcome the Houston Dynamo to the toughest venue in all of MLS, Sandy's Rio Tinto Stadium, for the continuation of their brewing rivalry (7:00 p.m. MT kickoff).  FOX Soccer's RSL coverage picks up on Saturday, August 27, when the Utah side will take on Chivas USA - now led by former RSL assistant Robin Fraser - in a "Class of 2005" showdown at The Home Depot Center (8:30 p.m. MT kick).

“FOX Soccer has been a tremendous partner for MLS for many years and we are very happy that we have been able to extend the relationship,” said MLS President Mark Abbott. “Through both its news coverage and its extensive schedule of MLS games, Fox Soccer allows MLS fans across the country to follow their club as well as their rivals.”

In addition to its MLS regular season slate, FOX Soccer will also offer coverage of the Championship Stage of the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, beginning with the opening leg of the Quarterfinal Round series between RSL and the Columbus Crew next Tuesday, February 22 (6:00 p.m. MT kickoff) at Crew Stadium. The series will continue a week later on March 1 in Sandy, when Real Salt Lake will host the second and decisive leg at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m.

FOX Soccer schedule this season begins with the MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids hosting the Portland Timbers in the expansion club’s inaugural MLS match as part of First Kick presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. Other highlights of the FOX Soccer lineup include five games between regional rivals, a clash of the two winningest teams in MLS history (LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United, June 3), and late season conference matchups that are bound to have playoff implications and high tension.

“We’re extremely pleased to be home to MLS – the gold standard for soccer in the US - for our ninth straight season,” said FOX Soccer Executive Vice President and General Manager David Nathanson. “FOX Soccer is committed to providing soccer fans in America the best coverage possible, and this extension helps us keep that commitment.”

FOX Soccer has been a national broadcast partner of MLS since 2003.

Complete FOX Soccer schedule

Date Time (ET) Match (home team listed first)
Sat, March 19 9:00 pm Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers
Fri, March 25 * 10:00 pm Seattle Sounders FC vs. Houston Dynamo
Fri, April 1 * 7:30 pm Columbus Crew vs. FC Dallas
Fri, April 8 * 9:00 pm FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids
Sat, April 16 7:00 pm Toronto FC vs. D.C. United
Fri, April 22 * 9:30 pm Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Sat, April 23 11:00 pm LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers
Fri, April 29 * 8:30 pm Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United
Fri, May 6 * 10:30 pm Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union
Sat, May 14 9:00 pm Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo
Fri, June 3 * 11:00 pm LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United
Fri, June 10 * 8:30 pm New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution
Sat, June 11 10:00 pm Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Fri, June 17 * 8:30 pm Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Sat, June 25 11:00 pm San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Sat, July 2 7:00 pm D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union
Sat, July 9 10:30 pm LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
Sat, July 16 4:00 pm Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids
Fri, July 29 * 7:30 pm Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids
Sat, July 30 7:30 pm Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. LA Galaxy
Fri, Aug 5 * 9:30 pm Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew
Sat, Aug 13 8:30 pm Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy
Sat, Aug 20 10:00 pm Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Sat, Aug 27 10:30 pm Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake
Fri, Sept 9 * 11:00 pm LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids
Fri, Sept 16 * 11:00 pm Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution
Fri, Sept 23 * 8:30 pm Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union
Sat, Oct 1 * 7:30 pm Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls
Sat, Oct 15 10:30 pm Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes

* indicates date or time change from schedule as originally announced