Sky Sports have confirmed that they will exclusively broadcast live Major League Soccer games in the UK this season, starting in March when the 2015 campaign is set to get underway.
The UK’s biggest sports broadcaster is expected to show two live games each week in what is an enormous step for the growth of MLS, particularly here in Great Britain as football fans will now have access to one of the world’s most exciting leagues on a regular basis.
Sky Sports will broadcast at least two MLS regular-season matches each week, as well as the AT&T MLS All-Star Game, every MLS Cup Playoff game, and the MLS Cup final.
Sky will also broadcast weekly MLS highlights across their various platforms in what is another major step for the league.
Robbie Keane has been sensational for the LA Galaxy for numerous years and he claimed the MLS Most Valuable Player award at the end of the 2014 campaign.
Other names UK fans may recognise include Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls), Nigel Reo-Coker (Montreal Impact), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City) and Steven Caldwell (Toronto FC).
Gary Stevenson is the President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures and he is excited about the partnership between MLS and Sky Sports.
“As MLS continues to grow into a global brand, we are excited to partner with Sky Sports, a leader in the UK TV market, to bring the sport to millions of soccer fans.
“2015 is a milestone year for MLS including new stars, new clubs and a new brand. Sky Sports will help continue to grow the League and its Clubs worldwide.”
David Beckham is the man who changed the perception of MLS when he moved to LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007 and he is excited about the announcement.
“This is another important moment that shows the continued growth of MLS,” Beckham told Sky Sports on confirmation of the deal.
“I have seen first-hand how popular soccer has become in America. Having fantastic partners such as Sky Sports on board will not only add to the coverage of the game, it will also broaden its appeal outside of US.”
Beckham is an ambassador for Sky Sports as is former New York Red Bulls and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry. The Frenchman only recently joined Sky after retiring at the end of the 2014 MLS season.
Henry also helped to grow the league in his four-and-a-half-year stay in New York and he knows that MLS will be “huge” in the immediate future.
“I will never forget my time playing in MLS – it gave me some great memories and I was proud to play a role in growing the game,” Henry said.
“I saw the passion of the fans in the US. They have always had it for other sports but they also have it for football now and it’s going to be huge in years to come. Sky Sports is the best place for the game, to bring it closer to fans in the UK and build MLS even more.”
The 2015 season is set to get underway in nine days with reigning champions, LA Galaxy hosting Chicago Fire in the season opener on Friday, March 6.
What do you make of the Sky Sports deal to show live MLS games?