TSN beats out CBC for Major League Soccer rights

CTV signs a six-year broadcast deal with MLS to air 24 regular season games featuring Canadian teams on TSN and TSN2.

Major League Soccer games on the CBC? Maybe not.

TSN has outbid the CBC for a six-year broadcast deal with North America’s pro soccer league.

Under the terms of the deal, TSN and TSN2 will broadcast 24 MLS regular season games this season featuring Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Then through the 2012 to 2016 seasons, TSN and TSN2 will air at least 30 games involving Toronto, Vancouver and the expansion Montreal Impact FC, which enters the league in 2012.

The CBC and Rogers Sportsnet previously broadcast Toronto FC games since the MLS’s first Canadian team entered the league in 2007.

Canadian broadcasters will bid separately for the local rights to MLS games in Toronto and Vancouver, and in Montreal from 2012.

At the same time, a MLS spokesman said TSN, as the official broadcast partner for the league, will have ‘first priority’ on Toronto and Vancouver games this coming season. That will likely leave CBC and rival broadcasters to bid on local games that TSN passes on.

A CBC spokesman offered no comment on the TSN deal for MLS’s national TV package.

The MLS national package is only the latest prestige TV sports property to land in CTV’s lap since BCE stepped forward to acquire the national broadcaster.

TSN also last month snagged the Canadian TV rights to the EURO 2012 and 2016 European football championships from UEFA.

TSN’s UEFA deal also includes media rights for the UEFA European Under-21 Championships, and the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 competition.

TSN also last month took the exclusive Canadian TV rights to the Tour de France, starting with the 98th edition of the pro cycling tour this July. The annual French competition previously aired on OLN.

From Playback Daily