Major League Soccer could be eyeing a move to Versus, as the two sides
have begun very early discussions, according to multiple sources with
knowledge of the meeting. Representatives from both sides have met
once (though neither MLS Commissioner Don Garber nor Versus chief
Jamie Davis were a part of the meeting), with another meeting
tentatively planned to take place in the coming weeks.
MLS currently has deals on English-language television with ESPN and
Fox Soccer Channel. The Fox deal is up at the end of the season
(later this calendar year), and that is the arrangement that MLS could
look to move to Versus as a possible outcome. MLS also has a deal for
Spanish-language broadcasts with Univision.
While the talks are completely in their infancy and no deal is
remotely on the table or has been discussed, MLS executives are said
to be impressed with the way Versus has treated its coverage of the
National Hockey League, which is a banner property for the cable
sports network. Versus often talks of its ability to “super-serve”
fans of the sport, and has seen a solid uptick in numbers since its
deal to return to DirecTV and into this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.