Chicago Fire, ESPN Ink Three-Year Exclusive Rights Deal to Stream Matches on ESPN+
ESPN's new DTC OTT service will become the exclusive home of Fire matches in English and Spanish
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has agreed to a three-year exclusive media rights deal to make ESPN+, the upcoming direct-to-consumer subscription streaming product from ESPN and BAMTECH Media, the home for live local coverage of Fire matches in both English and Spanish beginning this season. ESPN+ will have exclusive coverage of 27 Fire matches in 2018.
ESPN+ will have exclusive coverage of 27 Fire matches in 2018. Because ESPN+ will also be the exclusive home for all MLS LIVE out-of-market matches after it launches, Fire fans – both in Chicago and around the country – will be able to watch all 27 ESPN+ matches anywhere in the US. The Fire’s other seven regular season games will be televised nationally on ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision.
“The partnership between ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, and our storied club is a powerful combination,” says Fire president and general manager Nelson Rodríguez. “Our fans will receive top-quality streaming and production, available anytime, anywhere and across any devices.”
Fire fans will enjoy free access to matches until the launch of ESPN+ this spring. During the free access period, MLS LIVE is available for fans at LIVE.MLSsoccer.com and on the MLS Mobile App, Apple TV and Roku, and will provide fans the opportunity to stream up to eight (8) Fire and out-of-market matches each week.
Following the spring launch of ESPN+, Fire games will be available exclusively on ESPN+ as part of the $4.99 monthly subscription. Subscribers will have access to all ESPN+ programming, including the Fire, as well as hundreds of out-of-market MLS matches and thousands of other sporting events and shows.
“This is an exciting agreement that highlights ESPN’s constant dedication to connecting fans with the sports, teams and leagues that they love through new and innovative new ways,” says Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming, ESPN added, ESPN+ will offer Fire fans an amazing value, delivering great live, local coverage alongside thousands of other live sporting events.”