MLS TV schedule released for fans that aren’t buying MLS Season Pass

MLS Season Pass is changing the balance of media power in American soccer. Alexi Lalas and other MLS commentators keep praising the league’s greater sporting parity compared to other leagues. There is no parity, though, when it comes to television broadcasts on the network he works for. FOX Sports, the sole MLS television broadcaster still in business, is preferred.

For the first time since MLS debuted in 1996, no games will be broadcast on ESPN networks. In addition, longtime Spanish-language partner TelevisiaUnivision will not be broadcasting any regular-season MLS games, but it will air some of the Leagues Cup event in the summer, which features teams from both MLS and LigaMX. Apple’s deal for the MLS Season Pass covers most global rights and Spanish language broadcasts.

Numerous MLS teams are left out of the national broadcasts for the MLS 2023 season when it comes to the frequency of each team’s TV appearances. If you support the Houston Dynamo, CF Montreal, Toronto FC, or Vancouver, for example, none of your games are broadcast on television. Instead, every game will be streamed for $99/year (or $14.99/month) through Apple’s MLS Season Pass.

Now with MLS Season Pass being a stand alone product, the league will have to demonstrate the worth of its televised national broadcasts on their own. ESPN, FOX, and Univision also obtained the rights to broadcast men’s and women’s national team matches in prior MLS agreements.

Turner Sports and HBO Max have now purchased those rights separately. That may have been a factor in why Apple stepped in when ESPN and Fox apparently weren’t willing to fork over a significant sum for an exclusive rights package earlier this year.

Rox and Ken react to the schedule, and discuss what the MLS can do to create engaging content on and off the field.

Here are the number of games each team can expect to be seen:

Atlanta United6
LA Galaxy6
Portland Timbers6
Seattle Sounders6
Minnesota United3
Orlando City3
Philadelphia Union3
Sporting KC3
St Louis3
Columbus Crew2
Colorado Rapids1
DC United1
Inter Miami1
New England1
New York City FC1
New York Red Bulls1
Real Salt Lake1
San Jose Earthquakes1

Here are the list of games scheduled for TV (Shown on Fox, FS1, and fubotv):

Feb. 25 – Nashville SC vs. NYCFC
Feb. 26 – Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids
Mar. 4 – LAFC vs. Portland Timbers
Mar. 11 – Charlotte FC vs. Atlanta United
Mar. 18 – Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC
Mar. 25 – Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy
Apr. 1 – LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders
Apr. 8 – LAFC vs. Austin FC
Apr. 16 – LA Galaxy vs. LAFC
Apr. 23 – Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire
Apr. 29 – Nashville SC vs. Atlanta United
Apr. 30 – Minnesota United vs. FC Dallas
May 7 – Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City
May 14 – LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes
May 17 – Philadelphia Union vs. DC United
May 20 – St. Louis City vs. Sporting Kansas City
May 28 – Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
May 28 – Nashville SC vs. Columbus Crew
May 31 – Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution
June 3 – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers
June 11 – St. Louis City vs. LA Galaxy
June 11 – Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas
July 2 – Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union
July 15 – Atlanta United vs. Orlando City
Aug. 20 – Columbus Crew vs. FC Cincinnati
Aug. 20 – St. Louis City vs. Austin FC
Aug. 27 – Minnesota United vs. Seattle Sounders
Sept. 3 – Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls
Sept. 17 – Austin FC vs. Portland Timbers
Sept. 24 – Orlando City vs. Inter Miami
Sept. 24 – Austin FC vs. LA Galaxy
Oct. 1 – LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake
Oct. 4 – Nashville SC vs. Orlando City
Oct. 4 – LAFC vs. Minnesota United

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