Report: ESPN will not provide a la carte pro soccer this year

ESPN may still follow through with threats to launch an a la carte SVOD service built around Major League Soccer, but it won't happen for the upcoming season.

Re/code reports that the pro soccer league will still provide direct-to-consumer streaming to its subscribers on the MLS Live platform this season. This forestalls, at least for this year, a plan floated by ESPN president John Skipper last year to have the Disney-owned cable network offer MLS games on the Internet, a la carte.

As part of its broader carriage deal with the league, ESPN acquired a range of digital rights.

A direct-to-consumer MLS package would be novel for ESPN, which is the leading programmer in the pay-TV spectrum. The network still plans to carry the Cricket World Cup on the Internet, no pay-TV subscription required, in February.

"Our collaborative relationship with MLS is long term," ESPN spokesperson Katina Arnold told Re/code. "Together, we discussed several potential options for the out-of-market games and determined that having them exclusively on MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick was the right option for this season."

For more:
- read this Re/code story

Related links:
App developers pick the mobile moments that mattered in 2014
ESPN's Skipper: 'Cheap packages will hook millennials on pay-TV'
World Cup reveals TV Everywhere issue: latency

Suggested Articles

Increased internet speeds will outpace premises WiFi capabilities, category cables can deliver the high speed and low latency demanded by consumers.

After announcing a deal to integrate the Amazon Prime Video app earlier this year, Virgin Media said that service is now available to millions of its TV…

NCTA-The Internet and Television Association is pointing to a new report that shows the cable industry had a $450 billion impact on the U.S. economy in 2018.