Univision acquires Leagues Cup rights but passes on MLS

Univision will broadcast Leagues Cup matches from 2023. However, it won’t do the same for Major League Soccer.

Univision will receive linear rights to the package of Leagues Cup matches, according to the Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer. With Liga MX against Major League Soccer teams competing against each other, the Leagues Cup Final appears on Univision. It is currently scheduled for August 19. A total of 47 teams are taking part, and that includes all of the MLS and Liga MX in the league.

For starters, Apple acquired the rights to both MLS and Leagues Cup action for 2023 through 2032. The new MLS broadcaster will allow fans to watch both English and Spanish broadcasts on the same platform. Plus, Apple’s MLS Season Pass is a paid subscription, so this is quite a difference for MLS compared to the previous FOX, ESPN, and Univision deal.

The over-the-air channel Univision itself will not broadcast all Spanish-language TV matches for Leagues Cup. The provider assigns some games to UniMás. While UniMás is on cable, UniMás is over-the-air in selected cities.

Most expect the Leagues Cup to be a success. The new league includes top teams in the United States, Mexico and Canada and attracts that broad audience.

Univision in on Leagues Cup, away in MLS

While Univision has TV coverage of the Leagues Cup, it will not broadcast Spanish-language MLS games on TV for the first time since 2006. it reappeared for MLS in 2007, airing games for the past season.

Part of the reason Univision is after MLS is because of the provider’s desire to broadcast games on ViX+, its designated streaming platform. Univision wanted to broadcast games exclusively on ViX+. However, since Apple TV+ has the Spanish-language streaming coverage all MLS games in the new deal, there is no available audience for ViX+ for that matter. Essentially, it would cannibalize itself by not maximizing its potential audience.

This comes shortly after ESPN pulled out of broadcasting English-language MLS games on TV, a partnership that lasted Major League Soccer’s 26-year history.

Both Univision and ESPN do not have Major League Soccer TV coverage for the regular season and playoffs.


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