Major League Rugby will be broadcast on three national television networks in the USA this season. Having seen positive numbers on CBS Sports Network in each of its first two seasons, the league will add weekly matches on Fox Sports 2 and ESPN News for 2021.
The broadcast schedule has now been finalised and its official release imminent. New commissioner George Killebrew revealed that Fox and ESPN would be showing games at a press conference in New Orleans last month, with the channel lineup confirmed to ARN by multiple sources.
Also to be unmasked is the Canadian broadcast partner specifically for Toronto Arrows matches. Game TV provided coverage north of the border in 2019. International viewers should continue to enjoy full coverage via Facebook with Canadians able to access all non-Arrows games.
This season will be of particular importance to MLR’s broadcast aspirations. The league is keen to move its games under one umbrella and strong numbers could see one of the three networks stepping up in 2021 with production costs currently carried by MLR likely to drop significantly if not entirely.
Other existing broadcasting deals to be clarified soon include streaming coverage by ESPN+ and RugbyPass. The latter became a ‘digital partner’ in May to provide select games and highlights to international viewers. Games will also be available on various local channels.