Major League Soccer is close to announcing the details of its new television rights deal and sources tell Goal USA that NBC Sports will not be a part of the new deal.NBC Sports has made a strong push into American soccer broadcasting with its coverage of MLS and the English Premier League in recent years, but now it appears as though MLS won't be a part of that equation in 2015.
Sources tell Goal USA that MLS is putting the finishing touches on a new TV rights deal and NBC Sports will not be a part of the new deal.
An announcement on the league's new TV rights partners could come as early as next week at the 2014 MLS Draft, which takes place on Jan. 16 in Philadelphia.
The NBC Sports Group took over for Fox Soccer in 2012 and impressed MLS viewers with crisp and high-quality coverage of MLS, but according to Philly.com, NBC Sports lost out on the latest MLS TV deal after being out-bid by Fox Sports.
The NBC Sports Group featured MLS matches regularly on NBC Sports Network, as well as a handful of games on NBC. The 2014 season is the third and final year of a three-year rights agreement signed by the NBC Sports Group with MLS.
ESPN is expected to remain a partner, with sources telling Goal USA that the network is expected to finalize the new TV deal in the coming days.
Sources have also told Goal USA that the looming MLS TV deal will be worth significantly more than the previous deal, and could include sharing of rights to U.S. Men's national team home matches, including World Cup qualifiers between ESPN and Fox. ESPN is also expected to secure secondary rights to MLS and the U.S. national team as well, which would include online rights.