Major League Soccer announced on Monday that it has partnered with Abu Dhabi Sports Channel to televise league matches live across the Middle East and North Africa, reaching 25 countries throughout the region.
As part of the four-year agreement, starting with the current season, the United Arab Emirates-based broadcaster will telecast at least two MLS regular season matches per week, as well as the AT&T MLS All-Star Game, the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup, on the Abu Dhabi Sports Channels (Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya and Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 2).
The broadcaster will have exclusive rights to pay and free-to-air (FTA) TV, including digital live streaming of MLS matches. This marks the first time MLS matches will be telecast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channels.
“Our new partnership with Abu Dhabi Media Company is another affirmation of the growing interest in MLS around the globe, as both a league and media property,” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director, MLS Business Ventures, in a statement.
“We are excited to be partnered with a market leader in sports media and look forward to providing fans in the Middle East and North Africa with access to the high quality programming MLS has to offer.”
The deal with Abu Dhabi Media Company was negotiated with MLS’ new global media rights agent, IMG, as part of a continued focus to bring MLS to more fans around the world. The partnership comes on the heels of recent television agreements with Globosat in Brazil, Sky Sports in the UK and pan-European broadcaster Eurosport.