In their first broadcasting moves in the post-One World Sports era, the Cosmos announced Thursday morning that they had reached agreements with both WPIX (Channel 11) and MSG Networks to broadcast Cosmos games locally during the 2017 NASL Spring Season. The club also announced that a number of games will be available through the national television deal expected to be announced by the NASL next week, which could hint at Rocco Commisso’s repeated promises of the Cosmos arrival on beIn Sports.
“Television is a critically important piece to building and sustaining a successful professional sports brand,” said Cosmos’ Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover in a press release. “With WPIX and MSG, we have found two exceptional partners to help bring the fun and excitement of Cosmos’ games to millions of homes in the New York metropolitan area.”
WPIX 11 will broadcast the Cosmos home opener at MCU Park live on April 1st. This will be first time the Cosmos have played live on a local broadcast in nearly 30 years, marking a historic return for the club. The local network also currently broadcasts Mets and Yankee games on a partial basis. According to today’s press release, the Cosmos home opener is the only match WPIX will be involved with for the duration of the Spring Season.
“PIX11 is ‘New York’s Very Own’ and committed to bringing the best news, entertainment and sports to our viewers, and we’re thrilled to partner with the iconic Cosmos for their eagerly anticipated return to New York broadcast television,” said Tribune Broadcasting’s Senior Vice President of Group Operations, Greg Easterly, in a press release.
MSG Networks, who also have a broadcasting deal with the New York Red Bulls, will broadcast every Cosmos match starting April 8th in Miami up until July 8th in Indianapolis. This deal harkens back to the Cosmos initial reboot agreement with SNY, but much of those games were put on tape delay or had coverage start in the second half.
As pointed out by friend of the show Don Becker, the Cosmos currently hold three MSG broadcast conflicts with the Red Bulls: April 22nd, March 6th, and March 25th. Normally for overload broadcasts, MSG employs the use of additional channels (+, +2, etc) to get all of its partners on television.
“MSG Networks is proud to be the regional home of Cosmos soccer,” said MSG Network’s Vice President of Content Distribution and Affiliate Partnerships Armando Polanco in a press release. “It’s a new era for the legendary American club and we are excited to watch the Cosmos defend their NASL title.”
This leaves the Cosmos with two non-regionally broadcast games: next Saturday’s season opener in Puerto Rico and July 15th’s Spring finale in Edmonton. While no official info has come forth yet, one can assume that these two matches are prime targets for the Cosmos to be on beIn Sports, long promised by new Cosmos ownership for this upcoming season.
At time of writing, no official announcement has been made by the league on the continuation of last season’s national partnerships with ESPN3, CBS Sports, or beIN.
You can see the Cosmos full Spring Season schedule, with current broadcast listings, below.
|March 25, 2017||7:30 p.m.||@Puerto Rico FC||No Regional TV|
|April 1, 2017||7:00 p.m.||Miami FC||WPIX|
|April 8, 2017||7:30 p.m.||@Miami FC||MSG Networks|
|April 22, 2017||7:00 p.m.||Jacksonville Armada FC||MSG Networks|
|April 29, 2017||10:00 p.m.||@San Francisco Deltas FC||MSG Networks|
|May 6, 2017||7:00 p.m.||@Jacksonville Armada FC||MSG Networks|
|May 13, 2017||7:00 p.m.||Puerto Rico FC||MSG Networks|
|May 21, 2017||5:00 p.m.||FC Edmonton||MSG Networks|
|May 27, 2017||7:00 p.m.||San Francisco Deltas FC||MSG Networks|
|June 4, 2017||4:00 p.m.||@North Carolina FC||MSG Networks|
|June 9, 2017||7:30 p.m.||North Carolina FC||MSG Networks|
|June 16, 2017||7:30 p.m.||Puerto Rico FC||MSG Networks|
|June 24, 2017||7:30 p.m.||@Miami FC||MSG Networks|
|July 4, 2017||7:30 p.m.||Indy Eleven||MSG Networks|
|July 8, 2017||7:30 p.m.||@Indy Eleven||MSG Networks|
|July 15, 2017||9:00 p.m.||@FC Edmonton||No Regional TV|