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YouTube TV Strikes Deal To Air MLS Games

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YouTube TV reached a multi-year agreement with the expansion MLS organization, Los Angeles Football Club, as their exclusive broadcast rights holder. LAFC is the first professional sports franchise in North America to have its games exclusively presented on a streaming platform.

Terms of the agreement between YouTube TV and LAFC were not released, but according to the LA Times, the deal is thought to be worth $18 million for three years.

“We have a partner in YouTube TV that is willing to do innovative things in the way of doing augmented content,” said Tom Penn, president and co-owner of LAFC. “They are pushing the envelope all the time in the ways content is delivered to fans.” The LAFC’s ownership group also includes Peter Guber, Magic Johnson and Will Ferrell.

30 of the LAFC’s 34 games during the upcoming season will be available on YouTube TV, with about half of them being exclusive. Some of the games are nationally televised on ESPN or Fox Sports 1, both of which are channels already carried by YouTube TV. Subscribers pay $35 per month for YouTube TV and will incur no additional cost to watch the LAFC games.

“When we talk about innovation, it goes beyond a traditional distribution deal and really looking at programming for LAFC fans both on and off the field,” said Angela Courtin, global head of marketing at YouTube TV and YouTube Originals. “We think it’s going to be groundbreaking.”

Many professional leagues have experimented with digital streaming on different platforms, creating new competition and opportunity for teams. While Major League Soccer is not in the realm of the four major professional North American sports, LAFC is still the first professional franchise to have an exclusive broadcast partnership with a digital company. The MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy are seven seasons into their record 10-year $55 million contract with Spectrum SportsNet and averaged just 9,000 viewers per game last season.

Since launching last year, YouTube TV has already acquired 50 TV networks. Recognizing the value of sports coverage and advertising, the Google owned property partnered with Major League Baseball as the presenting sponsor of the 2017 World Series. Digital rights for “Thursday Night Football” are still up for bid and it will be interesting to see if YouTube TV makes a push for the “TNF” package which cost Amazon $50 million last year.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football

“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

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While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years. 

Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.

“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.

“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck. 

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Sports TV News

Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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