FRISCO (Jan. 7, 2016) — Major League Soccer unveiled the complete 2016 MLS regular season schedule, including U.S. broadcast coverage on ESPN, Fox and Univision Deportes.
FC Dallas opens the season at home vs. the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, March 6.
Coming off a record-setting season for total television viewership, the 21st season of Major League Soccer features a schedule that will maximize viewing opportunities for MLS fans through premier placement of matches on partner networks, expanded broadcast windows, programming and content alignment with international soccer programming, and big events throughout the calendar.
This season, fans can again look forward to the weekly programming of Viernes de Futbol (Friday Night Soccer) on UniMás and MLS Soccer Sunday on ESPN and Fox networks. The 2016 season will see MLS action make its debut on Fox broadcast television, with four marquee matchups slated for broadcast coverage; while 29 of ESPN’s 34 matches will be showcased on ESPN, an increase from nine in 2015. All 28 Univision Deportes matches will air live on UniMás, with select matches simulcast on the cable network Univision Deportes Network (UDN). The broadcast schedule for TSN and RDS in Canada will be announced in the coming weeks.
Big event schedule enhancements once again headline the 2016 schedule. Along with the return of two editions of MLS Heineken Rivalry Week, showcasing the most anticipated rivalry matches of the season, the 2016 schedule creates unprecedented viewing events throughout the season from March to Soccer – culminating in a new Week One format – through the final weeks of the season with action packed, simultaneous starts for Week 33 and Decision Day.
Following the first year of an eight-year agreement, MLS returns to Fox networks this season. For the first time in league history, MLS action will air nationally on Fox broadcast television with four matches on Fox – each of these telecasts will include an expanded 30-minute pregame show. Fox’s remaining 30 matches will air once again on FS1, with a majority of matches remaining in primetime on Sunday evenings. All matches on Fox, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes are available via the Fox Sports GO and Fox Soccer 2Go apps, and on the web through FoxSportsGO.com.
A partner since the League’s inception in 1996, ESPN’s MLS coverage in 2016 will again establish a consistent programming window on Sundays with 29 games on ESPN and five on ESPN2. The games will also be simulcast on ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language sports network and streamed live on WatchESPN and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes+. Select broadcasts will feature enhanced MLS match coverage including expanded windows for pregame shows, allowing for additional analysis and highlights from around the league.
Following the highly-successful inaugural season of Viernes de Futbol (Friday Night Soccer) last year that featured matches broadcast in English via SAP, Univision will continue its exclusive Friday night package in 2016. This season, 28 matches will be broadcast on UniMás, an increase from 18 in 2015, with Univision Deportes Network (UDN) simulcasting select matches. UniMás and UDN will also have select matches on other nights of the week in 2016, including the San Jose Earthquakes hosting the LA Galaxy on June 25 at Stanford Stadium as a doubleheader with the Copa America Centenario third place match. Additionally, UDN will continue to broadcast its weekly MLS highlight show, Somos MLS, on Sundays in primetime. This marks the 10th consecutive season of MLS coverage through Univision Deportes.
Non-national TV, local market games will be played on Saturdays, with intermittent mid-week matches, and will be broadcast locally and/or via the League’s subscription digital out-of-market package, MLS LIVE, and linear television product, MLS Direct Kick.
All 340 regular season games will also be broadcast internationally. MLS now reaches more than 140 nations and territories through the League’s global broadcast partners which include Sky Sports in the UK, pan-European broadcaster Eurosport, Globosat in Brazil, Abu Dhabi Media in the Middle East and North Africa, Letv Sports in mainland China, beIN SPORTS across Southeast Asia and Australia, FOX Sports Latin America, FOX Sports Africa, and ESPN across their international platforms in Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania.
Other Highlights of the 2016 MLS Regular Season Schedule:
- Similar to a World Cup year, the 2016 schedule allows for a break in MLS action during the Copa America Centenario group stage, June 3-14.
- The 2016 season will also see the AT&T MLS All-Star game return to ESPN, as well as UniMas, TSN and RDS, live from Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes, the last week in July. Additional details about the match date and opponent will be released in the coming weeks.
- Details, including broadcast information, for the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup will be announced at a later date.
About FC Dallas
A member of Major League Soccer since its inception in 1996, FC Dallas is owned and operated by Hunt Sports Group. The franchise was originally known as the Dallas Burn, changing to its current name prior to the 2005 season. The professional team plays from March to November at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. One of the first soccer-specific stadiums built in the United States, the venue plays host to Major League Soccer matches, concerts, international soccer matches and high school football. The 145-acre Toyota Soccer Center also includes 17 regulation-sized, tournament-grade soccer fields and is also home to the organization’s nationally-renowned youth development system. For more information about FC Dallas, call 469-365-0000 or visit fcdallas.com. For ticket information, call 1-888-323-4625 or visit fcdallas.com/tickets.