MLS to capitalize on record TV viewership with ambitious 2016 National TV schedule

Major League Soccer has unveiled its complete 2016 season schedule, which includes the league's debut on the FOX broadcast network, a record 29 games on ESPN (5 on ESPN2) and 28 Univisión Deportes matches. Coming off a season that generated record numbers in total television viewership, the 21st season will also feature select games aired internationally to more than 140 nations and territories through the League’s global broadcast partners.

This season, fans can again look forward to the weekly programming of Viernes de Futbol (Friday Night Soccer) on UniMás and Soccer Sunday doubleheaders on ESPN and FOX. The 2016 season will see MLS action make its debut on FOX broadcast television, the company’s premier network with over-the-air exposure in approximately 115 million homes, while 29 of ESPN’s 34 matches will be showcased on ESPN, compared with eight in 2015. All 28 Univisión Deportes matches will air live on UniMás, with select matches simulcast on the cable network Univisión Deportes Network (UDN). The broadcast schedule for TSN and RDS in Canada will be announced in the coming weeks.

Major League Soccer’s 21st season will kick off with all 10 matches on the first match day of the season, including four marquee matches broadcast live by the League’s national television partners. First is a rematch of the 2015 MLS Cup as the defending champion Portland Timbers welcome Kei Kamara and Columbus Crew SC on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 4:30 p.m. ET. FS1 and FOX Deportes will showcase Clint Dempsey-led Seattle Sounders FC versus Benny Feilhaber’s Sporting Kansas City at 7 p.m. ET; TSN and RDS will air Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s home opener vs. the Montreal Impact in Canada at 5:30 pm ET; while UniMás rounds out the night by featuring a match between five-time MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy and four-time champions D.C. United at 10 p.m. ET.

As the regular season reaches its climax, the 2016 schedule throws a log on the fire in the final two weeks with scheduling enhancements for Week 33 and Decision Day, the season’s grand finale. During Week 33, the penultimate week of the season, all 10 games will take place on Sunday, October 16 and consist of intra-conference matches pitting East against East and West against West as teams jockey for postseason positioning.

Similarly, Decision Day will also see exclusively intra-conference matches but the 2016 schedule takes the intensity to a new level by placing all 10 games at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 23 in one final flurry of action to settle the standings and determine who is in, and who is out of the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs. Both Week 33 and Decision Day will feature flex scheduling allowing FS1, ESPN and Univision Deportes to decide which matches to telecast late in the season, bringing the fans the most compelling games as the dust settles over the playoff landscape. All other games will be showcased across network and league digital platforms to ensure fans do not miss a minute of the action. The broadcasts will also include live look-ins and highlights from other league action while a unique digital experience will keep fans up to date on all the ongoing action and the playoff implications.

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 and the additional 30 games on FS1, most of which will kick off on Sundays in prime time. The New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls match on May 21 live from Yankee Stadium, part of Heineken Rivalry Week, will serve as the debut game and is part of a FOX network soccer doubleheader that includes live coverage of the FA Cup Final from England.

In addition to the four matches on FOX, FS1 will broadcast 30 regular season matches in 2016, each including an extended broadcast window to incorporate a 30-minute pregame show. All matches on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes are available via the FOX Sports GO and FOX Soccer 2Go apps, and on the web through FOXSportsGO.com.

A partner with MLS since the league’s inception, ESPN’s MLS coverage in 2016 will again establish a consistent programming window on Sunday afternoons with 28 games on ESPN and five on ESPN2 as well as 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.

The AT&T MLS All-Star game will return to ESPN, as well as UniMas, TSN and RDS, live from Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes, during the last week in July. Additional details about the match date and opponent will be released in the coming weeks.

Following the highly successful inaugural season of Viernes de Futbol, which featured matches broadcast in English via SAP, the Univisión family of networks will continue its exclusive Friday night package in 2016. In this, their 10th consecutive season of MLS coverage, 28 matches will be broadcast on UniMás with Univisión Deportes Network (UDN) simulcasting all matches. UniMás and UDN will also have select matches on other nights of the week in 2016.

Non-national TV games will be played on Saturdays, with intermittent mid-week matches, and will be broadcast locally and/or via a subscription to a digital out-of-market package.

Select games will also be broadcast internationally to 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.

Schedule by Network: ESPN schedule  |  FOX & FS1  |  UniMás/UDN

Sunday, Mar 6, 4:30 pm ET Portland vs Columbus ESPN
Sunday, Mar 6, 7:00 pm ET Seattle vs Sporting KC FS1
Sunday, Mar 6, 10:00 pm ET LA Galaxy vs D.C. United UniMás
Friday, Mar 11, 7:00 pm ET Orlando vs Chicago UniMás
Sunday, Mar 13, 5:00 pm ET NYCFC vs Toronto FC ESPN2
Sunday, Mar 13, 7:00 pm ET San Jose vs Portland FS1
Friday, Mar 18, 7:00 pm ET NYCFC vs Orlando UniMás
Sunday, Mar 20, 5:00 pm ET D.C. United vs Colorado ESPN2
Sunday, Mar 20, 7:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs Toronto FC FS1
Friday, Apr 1, 7:00 pm ET New England vs NY Red Bulls UniMás
Sunday, Apr 3, 8:00 pm ET Orlando vs Portland FS1
Friday, Apr 8, 7:00 pm ET Philadelphia vs Orlando UniMás
Sunday, Apr 10, 4:00 pm ET Houston vs Seattle ESPN
Sunday, Apr 10, 7:00 pm ET NYCFC vs Chicago FS1
Sunday, Apr 10, 9:30 pm ET LA Galaxy vs Portland FS1
Friday, Apr 15, 7:00 pm ET Houston vs LA Galaxy UniMás
Sunday, Apr 17, 3:30 pm ET Orlando vs New England ESPN
Sunday, Apr 17, 7:00 pm ET FCD vs Sporting KC FS1
Sunday, Apr 24, 3:30 pm ET San Jose vs Sporting KC ESPN
Sunday, Apr 24, 7:30 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs Orlando FS1
Friday, Apr 29, 7:00 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs DAL UniMás
Sunday, May 1, 3:30 pm ET Portland vs Toronto FC ESPN
Sunday, May 1, 8:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy FS1
Friday, May 6, 7:00 pm ET Orlando vs NY Red Bulls UniMás
Sunday, May 8, 3:30 PM ET LA Galaxy vs New England ESPN
Sunday, May 8, 7:30 pm ET D.C. United vs NYCFC FS1
Friday, May 13, 7:00 pm ET D.C. United vs NY Red Bulls UniMás
Sunday, May 15, 3:30 pm ET Sporting KC vs Orlando ESPN
Sunday, May 15, 7:30 pm ET Portland vs NYCFC FS1
Friday, May 20, 7:00 pm ET Philadelphia vs D.C. United UniMás
Saturday, May 21, 3:00 pm ET NYCFC vs NY Red Bulls FOX
Sunday, May 22, 4:30 pm ET Portland vs Vancouver ESPN
Sunday, May 22, 7:00 pm ET LA Galaxy vs San Jose FS1
Friday, May 27, 7:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs D.C. United UniMás
Sunday, May 29, 4:00 pm ET NYCFC vs Orlando ESPN
Sunday, May 29, 7:00 pm ET Montreal vs LA Galaxy FS1
Sunday, Jun 19, 5:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs DAL ESPN
Sunday, Jun 19, 7:30 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs Seattle FS1
Saturday, Jun 25, 5:00 pm ET Seattle vs NYCFC ESPN
Saturday, Jun 25, 10:00 pm ET San Jose vs LA Galaxy UniMás
Sunday, Jun 26, 6:00 pm ET Portland vs Houston ESPN2
Friday, Jul 1, 8:00 pm ET Chicago vs San Jose UniMás
Friday, Jul 1, 10:30 pm ET Real Salt Lake vs D.C. United UniMás
Sunday, Jul 3, 12:00 pm ET NYCFC vs NY Red Bulls ESPN
Sunday, Jul 3, 7:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs Columbus FS1
Friday, Jul 8, 8:00 pm ET Orlando vs Houston UniMás
Friday, Jul 8, 10:30 pm ET San Jose vs DAL UniMás
Saturday, Jul 9, 3:00 pm ET Seattle vs LA Galaxy ESPN
Sunday, Jul 10, 6:00 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs Portland ESPN2
Sunday, Jul 10, 8:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs NYCFC FS1
Friday, Jul 15, 11:00 pm ET LA Galaxy vs Houston UniMás
Sunday, Jul 17, 5:00 pm ET Montreal vs NYCFC ESPN
Sunday, Jul 17, 3:00 pm ET Portland vs Seattle FOX
Sunday, Jul 17, 7:00 pm ET Philadelphia vs NY Red Bulls FS1
Friday, Jul 22, 11:00 pm ET Real Salt Lake vs San Jose UniMás
Saturday, Jul 23, 3:30 pm ET Portland vs LA Galaxy ESPN
Sunday, Jul 24, 3:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs Seattle ESPN
Sunday, Jul 24, 1:00 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs NYCFC FOX
Sunday, Jul 31, 4:00 pm ET Seattle vs LA Galaxy ESPN
Sunday, Jul 31, 2:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs Portland FOX
Friday, Aug 5, 11:00 pm ET San Jose vs NYCFC UniMás
Sunday, Aug 7, 4:00 pm ET Portland vs Sporting KC ESPN
Sunday, Aug 7, 7:00 pm ET Orlando vs Seattle FS1
Sunday, Aug 7, 9:30 pm ET LA Galaxy vs NY Red Bulls FS1
Friday, Aug 12, 11:00 pm ET Vancouver vs San Jose UniMás
Sunday, Aug 14, 3:30 pm ET Chicago vs Orlando ESPN2
Sunday, Aug 14, 7:00 pm ET Seattle vs Real Salt Lake FS1
Friday, Aug 19, 11:00 pm ET San Jose vs Houston UniMás
Saturday, Aug 20, 3:30 pm ET NYCFC vs LA Galaxy ESPN
Sunday, Aug 21, 3:00 pm ET D.C. United vs NY Red Bulls ESPN
Sunday, Aug 21, 9:30 pm ET Seattle vs Portland FS1
Friday, Aug 26, 8:00 pm ET Real Salt Lake vs Colorado UniMás
Sunday, Aug 28, 2:30 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs New England ESPN
Sunday, Aug 28. 5:00 pm ET Portland vs Seattle ESPN
Sunday, Aug 28, 7:00 pm ET Orlando vs NYCFC FS1
Friday, Sep 9, 8:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs Houston UniMás
Sunday, Sep 11, 1:00 pm ET NY Red Bulls vs D.C. United ESPN
Sunday, Sep 11, 7:00 pm ET LA Galaxy vs Orlando FS1
Friday, Sep 16, 8:00 pm ET Chicago vs D.C. United UniMás
Sunday, Sep 18, 1:00 pm ET Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy ESPN
Sunday, Sep 18, 7:00 pm ET Toronto FC vs NY Red Bulls FS1
Friday, Sep 23, 8:00 pm ET NYCFC vs Chicago UniMás
Sunday, Sep 25, TBD LA Galaxy vs Seattle ESPN
Sunday, Sep 25, 7:00 pm ET Columbus vs New England FS1
Wednesday, Sep 28, 7:30 pm ET Toronto vs Orlando FS1
Friday, Sep 30, 8:00 pm ET Houston vs NYCFC UniMás
Sunday, Oct 2, 1:00 pm ET Orlando vs Montreal ESPN
Sunday, Oct 2, 8:00 pm ET Vancouver vs Seattle FS1
Sunday, Oct 16, 5:00 pm ET TBD ESPN
Sunday, Oct 16, 7:00 pm ET TBD FS1
Sunday, Oct 23, 4:00 pm ET TBD ESPN
Sunday, Oct 23, 4:00 pm ET TBD FS1