Less than 27 hours before kickoff in their first game of the 2018 MLS season, the Chicago Fire have finally announced their new local broadcast deal.
Starting this year, all local broadcasts of Fire games will be available exclusively through the new ESPN+ platform. The new service launches this spring and requires a $4.99/month subscription fee. Fans will be able to access the service on desktop and mobile devices, as well as a number of Smart TV and streaming media devices.
Until ESPN+ launches, all Fire games— including tomorrow’s season opener against Sporting Kansas City— will be available to stream for free through MLS Live.
In total, 27 games will be made available through ESPN+, either through “nationally broadcast” ESPN broadcasts or local streams. The rest will be carried nationally on Fox Sports or Univision.
Club president Nelson Rodriguez had this to say about the deal:
“The partnership between ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, and our storied club is a powerful combination. Our fans will receive top-quality streaming and production, available anytime, anywhere and across any devices.”
We’ll have more to say on this later today in our Friday Mailbag.