MLS And US Soccer Sign Multi-Year Content Partnership With Bleacher Report
ajor League Soccer (MLS) and US soccer’s national governing body have signed a multi-year digital content deal with Turner’s Bleacher Report.
The deal will allow Bleacher Report to publish a range of content across its digital channels in an effort to reach new fans and grow the popularity of soccer further in the U.S.
MLS senior vice president of media, Seth Bacon, said the partnership opens up the next broadcast rights deal for the league, as they eye the potential of an independent streaming deal when the current broadcast rights contracts expire in 2022.
“We have tremendous momentum as a league right now, and that momentum leads to more people looking for more MLS content in more, and different places,” Bacon told Front Office Sports (FOS).
“We believe this new distribution platform will allow us to reach these new, highly engaged soccer fans and continue to push our growth trajectory in the right direction.
“The content and features we bring to life on B/R Football will only be additive as we build more interest in MLS.
“It will create a bigger pool of people looking to consume content and, ultimately, our live matches,” he said.
“We will go first to ESPN, Fox, and Univision, but this deal definitely opens the door for Bleacher Report to have a voice in the conversation,” Bacon told Forbes.
MLS’s current broadcast rights partnerships with ESPN, Fox, and Univision, which run until the end of 2022, are worth around US$90 million per year.
The MLS and US national soccer content is set to go directly to B/R Football, Bleacher Reports’ digital soccer brand, which averages 120 million monthly engagements and 217 million monthly video views, with a combined 20.5 million followers across its social channels.
The deal will see Bleacher Report also gain access to digital highlights content from US men’s and women’s national soccer team matches.