You probably don’t know that the battle for MLS Cup begins on Thursday when the Colorado Rapids host the Columbus Crew. But it does! And ESPN2 will televise the first playoff match of the 2010 Major League Soccer season.
After that, four channel on three networks will split the televising duties.
ESPN (one), the Dos (three), Fox Soccer Channel (two), and Telefutura (two) will each broadcast at least one of the eight first-round matches.
ESPN will show the MLS Cup final – featuring the winner of the Eastern conference against the Western conference champion – on November 21.(If you’re seeking a betting favorite, take Real Salt Lake.)
MLS, which was briefly bolstered by the World Cup but then topped by the WNBA in ratings, has an expiring television deal. A good showing in the playoffs could help executives to a better negotiating position.