Though a contract has been in the works for months, reports indicate that ESPN and Fox are close to a new eight-year, $70-million MLS broadcast deal.
The latest news came when ESPN president John Skipper said his network on the precipice of a deal.
“We’ve been telling people for six months now, I think, that we’re on the precipice of getting a deal, and we are on the precipice of getting a deal,” Skipper said during a preview of his network’s coverage of the World Cup this summer. “It’s the longest I’ve ever been on a precipice, but we expect to be partners with Major League Soccer going forward.”
That ESPN would be a partner was a given: ESPN officials said from the beginning of negotiations they wanted to retain rights. And with NBC deciding against renewing the current three-year broadcast deal (too bad; their game broadcasts rock), Fox stepped in with interest in broadcasts. And even though talks have gone on for months, it sounds like the basic structure of a deal — $70 million, eight years — is still intact.