12/20/19: ESPN unveiled the broadcast plans for MLS’ landmark 25th season

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Friday December 20, 2019
announced the schedule for their 25th season, and ESPN networks and ABC followed with their expanded broadcast schedule starting this spring with MLS. The two will combine to televise 31 regular season matches and will kick off coverage of the 2020 season with a doubleheader on March 1 and televise the 2020 MLS All-Star Game Presented by Target on July 29. ESPN and ESPN2 will televise 21 of the 31 matches, while ABC will broadcast the remaining 10 matches. ABC carried the 2019 MLS Cup in November. All matches will be streamed live on the ESPN and ABC apps. ESPN Deportes will air the Spanish-language telecasts of all 31 matches on ESPN and ABC. In addition to ESPN television coverage, ESPN+, returns as the exclusive home of MLS Live which features all of the league’s 345 out-of-market games. Overall, ESPN platforms and ABC will combine to distribute 376 matches during Major League Soccer’s 25th season.
Beginning this Saturday, NBC Sports presents a Premier League packed holiday season with 39 “festive fixtures” in 13 days, highlighted by a pair of top-five matchups this weekend. First on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Universo, it’s second-place Leicester City visiting third-place Manchester City, followed on Sunday by fourth-place Chelsea at fifth-place Tottenham at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and Telemundo. This weekend’s coverage kicks off with Premier League Mornings at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by Everton v. Arsenal at 7:30 a.m. ET. Next, at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN, eighth-place Wolverhampton Wanderers host Norwich City as Wolves look to rebound from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Tottenham.
FOX Sports Films,
in association with UNINTERRUPTED, announced “Elite Youth,” a new series about the modern high school basketball superstar. The four-episode debut season follows the most highly sought-after high school basketball players in the country as they compete in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) during the 2018 circuit. The series documents each player’s journey as they navigate high school life and college recruitment while competing at the highest youth level in the sport. Season one of “Elite Youth” premieres Friday, January 3rd at 11:00 PM ET on FS1, with the next three episodes airing Jan. 10, 17 and 24. The series will also return to FS1 for a second and third season.
will offer 10 presentations of both College Football Playoff Semifinals – through its annual CFP MegaCast production on Saturday, Dec. 28 – as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl features No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (4 p.m. ET) and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl matches No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (8 p.m.). The CFP Semifinals presentation will highlight multi-network productions for the entire New Year’s Six, which concludes with the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual (5 p.m.) and the  Allstate Sugar Bowl (8:30 p.m.) on New Year’s Day. Surrounding the CFP Semifinals are the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (noon) on Semifinal Saturday and the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30 (8 p.m.).
The Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network
are showcasing original premieres focusing on the adventure lifestyle of the outdoors and new episodes from returning series to kick off the New Year. Outdoor Channel bids farewell to the best of Duck Dynasty beginning on Monday, December 30 at 6 p.m. ET, but welcomes a new scripted “reality” series with the premiere of the modern western crime drama, Longmire on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. Wardens returns with a new season documenting conservation officers in Michigan beginning February 3. Viewers also see the premiere of Spear Life with host Jon Brunson on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. ET.  And Major League Fishing is back with fresh content including: MLF Cups on Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET and MLF All Angles on Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. ET.
ACC Network
will be live from Glendale, Ariz., for expanded coverage of the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl as part of ESPN’s MegaCast offerings. ACCN will have more than 10 hours of dedicated programming on Friday, Dec. 27, and Saturday, Dec. 28, surrounding the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, including its signature studio shows Packer and Durham and The Huddle in advance of the CFP Semifinal featuring No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Ohio State at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Pac-12 Networks
announced the multi-year contract extensions of Yogi Roth and Kate Scott, two members of its on-air talent roster.
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The Marlins and Biscayne Bay Brewing Co
. announced a five-year partnership, to entitle the new 3,000-square-foot space in the atrium on the ballpark’s Promenade Level. The partnership also includes a signature Marlins beer that will be available at Marlins Park and throughout South Florida. The Brew Hall will feature a bar and social seating, with a performance space
and a large video wall. It will be open on game days, and available for group activities
throughout the year.
announced that HC2 Broadcasting, the broadcasting subsidiary of HC2 Holdings, Inc. will carry beIN SPORTS XTRA, making it the first 24/7 live sports channel available free, over-the-air on broadcast television. The English-language channel, beIN SPORTS XTRA, will be immediately available in 15 major markets across the U.S.
Panini America
announced that it will be introducing the first officially licensed trading cards featuring blockchain technology in January 2020. The blockchain assets will provide collectors with the ability to track ownership history and ensure that these cards will live forever in the digital realm.
The ESL Mobile Open
Presented by AT&T is returning for Season four with a new game title — Dota Underlords — in addition to returning titles, Clash of Clans and Asphalt 9: Legends. Gameplay takes place throughout February and March and concluding with the finals at ESL One Los Angeles on March 20-22.
ELEAGUE and Supercell
announced a multi-faceted industry collaboration that will align the two brands across premium content and sponsorships for Clash Royale League throughout 2020.  Through the partnership, ELEAGUE will televise highlights of a mobile esports competition for the first time, beginning with the best moments from the 2019 Clash Royale League World Finals, which took place in Los Angeles earlier this month. It will begin with a two-hour special – ELEAGUE | 2019 Clash Royale League World Finals – debuting Friday, Dec. 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on TBS.
Allied Esports
announced a strategic alliance with Wanyoo, the largest network of esports centers in China, that will make the company an official affiliate member of the Allied Esports Property Network.
 The Dallas Mavericks visit the Philadelphia 76ers at 8:00 on ESPN
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On This Day in 1985

Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC
In the Know

The XFL will be starting training camp in the coming weeks; who won the first and only title in the XFL’s first iteration?
(Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).  
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question

Luka Dončić continues to be one of the NBA’s young rising stars, for the Dallas Mavericks. Who is the only Maverick other than Luka to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors? Answer: Jason Kidd Congrats: Terry Lyons, Digital Sports Desk/MA, Ross Bernard, NHL/NY, David Check, Check Point Productions/NY Denis Barry, CBS/NY, Michael Dittelman, Columbia Univ/NYMichael Ritz, Northwestern Mutual/NY, Keith Marder, Halstead Real Estate, NY, Tanner Simkins, Complete SET Agency/Fla., Mike May PHIT America/FL, Synda Kollman Charter Marketing Group/FL, Dory Petsrillo CoxReps./Ill.,
Tom Doherty Starcom Media/IL,  
Andy Pittman TAMU/TX, Greg Moloznik GLM Media/AZ, David Westberg SAG AFTRA Credit Union/CA, Karla Swatek Horrow Sports/CA and Tom Moore Kalt Productions/CA

Later ~ Chris
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