Next time you're in Rio de Janeiro during the Major League Soccer season, you can ask the bartender at the local bar to turn on the D.C. United match. Earlier today, Major League Soccer announced a four-year partnership with Brazilian media giant Globosat, Latin America's biggest pay-TV operator.
The deal allows for Globosat, through its network channels SporTV 1, SporTV 2, and SporTV 3, to televise at least two MLS regular season matches each week, along with the AT&T MLS All Star Game, one Decision Day match at the end of the regular season, half of the MLS Cup playoffs along with MLS Cup in alternating years. It will also carry games and other content across its digital platforms. This deal will operate in conjunction with the agreement MLS already has in place with ESPN Brasil, whose rights are through ESPN's domestic TV deal with MLS. MLS also announced that it will retain the rights for one game a week over free-to-air TV in Brazil.
With Brazilian star Kaká current captaining Orlando City SC and Juninho playing for the LA Galaxy, this deal comes at a great time to increase the exposure of MLS in the 5th most populous country in the world. MLS's deal with Globosat is the 3rd international TV agreement reached by the league in just over a month, joining its partnerships with Sky Sports (United Kingdom) and Eurosport (Europe outside of the UK) to bring MLS action in over twenty languages weekly to a global audience.