DAZN gets MLS rights in long-term deal
DAZN, the over-the-top streaming service owned by Perform, is to show at least 262 games from North America’s Major League Soccer on its platform in Canada, after striking a three-year rights deal with the league.
A minimum of 262 regular season games will be aired live every season, while an additional 129 games (featuring the league’s three Canadian teams) will be available on a 48-hour delay.
The agreement kicked off over the weekend with coverage of the opening fixtures of the 2018 season.
DAZN’s deal comes as a result of the league’s decision to move its OTT service, MLS Live, to ESPN+, the US sports broadcaster’s soon-to-be-launched streaming platform.
The DAZN service costs C$20 ($16) per month, while ESPN+, which is set to go live this spring, will cost $4.99 per month.
MLS is also shown in Canada on TSN, the Canadian pay-TV broadcaster, and TVA Sports, the Quebecor Media-owned French-language channel.
In December last year, TSN claimed a 25-per-cent increase in audiences for its coverage of MLS regular season, boosted by Toronto FC’s run to the MLS Cup final which was watched by an average of 1.3 million Canadians.
DAZN’s MLS deal becomes the latest rights acquisition for the Canadian service following an agreement with Pac-12 Networks, the broadcaster responsible for media coverage of the prominent US college sports conference, and the securing of exclusive rights to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.