TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced Friday the expansion of its broadcast agreement with ESPN for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The deal will bring more regular-season games to networks and make ESPN+ the league’s streaming subscription service in the United States.
“We are thrilled to expand our valued relationship with ESPN through the 2019 season,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in a statement. “Our collaboration has grown organically over the last few years, as we’ve worked closely to continually enhance our broadcasts. In addition, our investments into USL Productions and partnership with VISTA Worldlink – now in its second season and under the visionary guidance of industry veteran Michael Cohen – has built the league into a premier television sports property which delivers engaging, exciting and unique content for fans all season long.”
In its third season, the USL’s agreement with ESPN will see six USL regular season games and the 2018 USL Cup aired on linear networks, a major increase from a season ago. The full 2018 Game of the Week schedule will be released in the coming weeks.
“We have worked in great collaboration with the USL to leverage numerous ESPN touch points to reach fans, and will continue to do so through this latest agreement,” said Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, ESPN Programming. “We look forward to our expanded relationship as we serve fans across our platforms in new and engaging ways.”
In addition to the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3, the league’s regular-season matches will be available in the United States through ESPN+ after its launch on April 12, where the league will reside alongside Major League Soccer, the English Football League and UEFA Nations League on the new direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer and International group in partnership with ESPN.
Prior to the launch of ESPN+ on April 12, all USL regular season contests will be available through the league’s YouTube channel.