Newly-added Fox Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas along with Rob Stone and the rest of the studio team will become a Sunday afternoon fixture for MLS fans this year (Photo courtesy Fox Sports 1).
Los Angeles-based Fox Sports 1 will air 34 Sunday afternoon MLS games this year, most beginning at 4 p.m., the network announced today.
Sunday afternoon MLS games in the past have not fared well on television so it will be interesting to see how Fox does as MLS returns to the network after a five-year absence as part of an eight-year rights agreement.
The schedule includes three doubleheaders with the first set for 4 p.m. March 8 when Sporting Kansas City hosts the New York Red Bulls followed by the Seattle Sounders facing Eastern Conference Champion New England Revolution at 6:30 p.m.
Five Galaxy games are scheduled starting with a March 15 game against the Portland Timbers. Two contests against Seattle are also on the Fox schedule on April 12 and Oct. 4.
Here’s more from the Fox Sports press release:
This season, MLS and its broadcast partners, including FOX Sports 1, introduce flex scheduling on the penultimate weekend of the regular season which allows the league and its media partners to decide the most impactful matches to telecast as the season draws to a close.
In addition to the flex scheduling, MLS also unveils its new “Decision Day” scheduling format on the last day of the regular season. On Sunday, Oct. 25, all five games in each conference are scheduled to be played at the same time, with Eastern Conference matches kicking-off at 5:00 PM ET and Western Conference games beginning at 7:00 PM ET. FOX Sports 1 is slated to televise an Eastern Conference match.
FOX Sports 1 and ESPN divide MLS CUP PLAYOFFS matches (outside of two games televised by Univision), and alternate televising the MLS CUP and AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME. Television plans for 2015 are expected at a later date.