MLS Unveils 2012 Regular Season ScheduleJan 5, 2012
League's 17th season is longest ever - First Kick begins March 10 and MLS Cup is Dec. 1
NEW YORK (Thursday, January 5, 2012) - Today Major League Soccer and its national broadcast partners announced the 2012 regular season schedule on www.MLSsoccer.com. Each of the League's 19 clubs will play 34 matches, 17 at home and 17 away, during 34 weeks. Within each conference, each club will play the same number of in-conference and out-of-conference games, following the competition format announced on Nov. 20, 2011.
All 323 matches will be televised live - 89 by national network partners ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and Univision (TeleFutura, Galavisión and Univision Deportes) in the United States. Nationally in Canada, 30 games featuring Canadian clubs will air on TSN/TSN2 in English and RDS/RDS2 in French. The TSN/TSN2 and RDS/RDS2 schedules will be finalized and announced in the coming weeks.
All non-national TV games will be broadcast locally and/or via subscription to Direct Kick and MLS Digital's live streaming package, for MLSsoccer.com, mobile devices and tablets.
First Kick 2012, presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, begins Saturday, March 10 with a slate of five games, continues with two Sunday games - including the first MLS game on NBC Sports Network and concludes with a special Monday night contest on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
The 2012 MLS Regular Season will conclude Sunday, Oct. 28 with three games, followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and the championship game - MLS Cup 2012 - on Dec. 1, hosted by one of the two finalists. From First Kick to MLS Cup, the calendar footprint of the 2012 season is 267 days - the longest in League history (as is the regular season, at 232 days).
FANS & MEDIA MEMBERS: To download club schedules and national TV schedules directly into your personal calendar, mobile device or desktop, go to www.mlssoccer.com/calendar.
A partner since the League's inaugural season, ESPN continues its live coverage of MLS with 21 regular season games. The nine games on ESPN and 11 on ESPN2 will also be available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, WatchESPN, and ESPN Deportes Radio. The May 4 Chivas USA vs. Chicago Fire game will be televised on ESPN Deportes, with ESPN3 and Deportes Radio coverage.
Eleven of the games on ESPN platforms feature duels between regional rivals, such as FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo, two \"SuperClasicos\" between Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy, and two Cascadia Cup tilts between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC. Among other highlights of ESPN's slate are: The March 12 season opener for two clubs, Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers, and a May 5 rematch of the heated 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs series between the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy. The ESPN/ESPN2 MLS broadcast package includes the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup, and select international matches involving MLS clubs.
The NBC Sports Group begins its three-year partnership with MLS this season with live broadcasts of 41 regular season games, the most of any broadcast partner in 2012, and five MLS Cup Playoff games. The first one is Sunday, March 11 when FC Dallas host the New York Red Bulls on the NBC Sports Network. A total of 38 regular season games will air on NBC Sports Network, including the May 12 inaugural MLS match at the Houston Dynamo's new home, BBVA Compass Stadium, and a May 26 rematch of MLS Cup 2011 between Houston and LA.
NBC will broadcast three regular season games nationally: Portland vs. Seattle on Sept. 15, New York vs. Chicago Fire on Oct. 6, and Philadelphia vs. New York on Oct. 27 - the first game of an historic tripleheader on the last Saturday of the regular season that includes Chicago vs. D.C. United and Portland vs. San Jose Earthquakes on NBC Sports Network.
Univision will broadcast 27 exclusive MLS regular season games in Spanish, two-thirds of them on Sunday evenings across three of its networks - TeleFutura, Galavisión and Univision Deportes, its 24-hour sports network launching soon. Clubs such as the Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls will appear on either TeleFutura, Galavisión or Univision Deportes more than three times each this season. The Univision broadcast package also includes exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup and several international matches this summer.
Online, www.UnivisionDeportes.com will feature additional in-depth coverage of MLS, along with video game highlights, stats and more. Fans can also access real-time updates, scores and stats by downloading the Univision Deportes-FÃºtbol (Sports-Soccer) and the Univision Marcador (Scoreboard) Apps on their Smartphones. Additionally every Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Univision Radio's daily national sports talk show \"Locura Deportiva\" (Sports Madness) features commentary on the latest in MLS with celebrated sportscaster Jorge Perez-Navarro.
The forthcoming TSN/TSN2 and RDS/RDS2 schedules will include the inaugural MLS match for the Montreal Impact on March 10 in Vancouver, the Impact's home opener on March 17 and the opening of the renovated Stade Saputo on June 16 when Seattle Sounders FC visit Montreal for the first time.
COMLPETE SCHEDULE: To view the month-by-month 2012 MLS regular season schedule CLICK HERE. For team-specific schedules, visit club websites.
Highlights of 2012 Regular Season Schedule:
- All 323 games will be televised live: Fans can watch games live via the national broadcast partners, regional telecasts, the Direct Kick television package (available via select satellite and digital cable providers) and/or on www.MLSsoccer.com via subscription. Regional broadcast schedules will be announced by the clubs as they are finalized.
- Majority of games on weekends:
More than 83% of all MLS games will take place on weekends or holidays, with every day of the week having at least one scheduled match during the year.
- Record day of action - April 28:
The nine MLS games scheduled for Saturday, April 28 are set to break the League record for the most games in one day (previously eight, on March 26, 2011).
- International fixture dates:
MLS initially did not schedule any games on FIFA fixture dates, but the League afforded the option, only by mutual club consent, of moving a game to one of those dates when other scheduling conflicts could not be resolved. Thus, a small number of games do occur on select FIFA fixture dates.
- Must-See Matches:
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