MLS rejects $4 billion media rights deal requiring promotion/relegation

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International media rights company MP & Silva offered Major League Soccer a massive deal that was swiftly rejected

Major League Soccer has rejected a $4 billion global media rights deal which was contingent upon the league adding promotion and relegation, according to a report in the Sports Business Journal. 

International media company MP & Silva offered the league the chance to quadruple its current annual media right haul, but MLS rejected the offer. 

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The offer was a 10-year deal starting in 2023, after the expiration of the league's current deal with ESPN, Fox, and Univision.

In a statement provided to ESPN, league spokesman Dan Courtemanche explained that MLS contractually was not even allowed to negotiate with MP & Silva before discussing a renewal with its current media partners. 

"As was stated to Mr. Silva both in person and in a subsequent letter, Major League Soccer is prohibited contractually from engaging in discussions about our media rights with other distributors," Courtemanche said. 

"We are not in a position, nor are we interested, in engaging with Mr. Silva on his proposal." 

MP & Silva was founded by Riccardo Silva, who owns Miami FC of the second-tier NASL – a club that stands to potentially gain if promotion and relegation are introduced in North America.

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