CBS Out of MLR Broadcasting Deal

George Killebrew used to say ‘dance with who you came with.’ Apparently, he’s only willing to stick with a partner doing the foxtrot.

CBS Sports was the initial broadcast partner for the league, airing the championship each year on free-to-air CBS. Its not immediately clear if FOX will broadcast the final on its main channel.

What is clear is that the CBS partnership had run its course. CBS Sports was affordable for a league that had to buy its time, but there’s a reason why a start up could afford the air time.

No one watches CBS Sports. A lot of people don’t even have access.

FOX will provide a much larger platform. Games airing on FS2 will receive fairly similar reach, but games moved up to FS1 will have a massive advantage. While there’s no information about the financials of the deal, its certainly a move into more households.

The move also shows the success of The Rugby Network. The league must have a higher return on investment broadcasting through their own service than via CBS Sports. TRN has more than 50,000 subscribers at last announcement. On TRN, the league can take a piece of advertising revenue without paying for someone else’s network space. Considering the global potential of The Rugby Network, its easy to see why the MLR is excited about growing its reach.

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