In news that had been teased a few days ago, Monumental Network announced today that they will air the September 28 game between D.C. United and Toronto FC, complete with pre-game coverage. This will be the Network's second foray into live sports broadcasting, having shown Washington Mystics games online this summer. This announcement falls short of what many fans hoped for, which would have been local streaming of the rest of the season's games that are not already on national or local broadcast, including the U.S. Open Cup final. And if this remains the only game that Monumental airs this season, I will be disappointed as well.
This was an interesting match to chose, as it is an away game for D.C. United and therefore directly competes with MLS Live. I would be curious to see if there will be geographic restrictions for the stream, as there were for the Washington Mystics games; I imagine that there will be. The radius for Mystics games was 75 miles, which is smaller than reach of Comcast SportsNet. As someone who lives further than 75 miles from D.C. but is blacked-out when United home games are on CSN, I hope all parties can make this work for everyone who wants to watch.
This is a first step, but this deal will only be judged on what dividends it brings down the line. If Monumental eventually is carried by actual cable providers, this could be a good opportunity for United to get in on the ground level with a provider that actually wants them. But if United cannot get all of their home matches on real TV next year, it will be a failure no matter what other viewing options there are.