One of the biggest concerns that fans of Major League Soccer teams have about the MLS Season Pass is the loss of local announcers.
Previously, MLS always had local announcers calling games on various regional sports networks across the country. Many of them were considered experts or familiar voices whose fans grew up watching the league.
However, Major League Soccer has terminated all contracts with regional sports networks. Instead, the league opted for a global deal with Apple for his next decade, resulting in the layoff of many of the local stars.
Some of the local MLS announcers have appeared on Apple’s global broadcasts, but they won’t be covering the same teams every week as they used to.
MLS Season Pass: Local Decisions
Major League Soccer’s 10-year deal with Apple has been a concern for many club fans across the country. Losing that local expertise would be a huge blow to fans wanting to hear their favorite announcers.
So what did Major League Soccer decide to do?
According to multiple sources speaking to World Soccer Talk, Major League Soccer and Apple have decided to do something completely different. Many of the announcers selected for the MLS Season Pass will cover leagues on a regional basis.
So, as a hypothetical example, the Portland Timbers play-by-play announcer used to be Jake Jibin. Under his new role, Zivin, along with other commentators, will primarily call the game on a regional basis. So Zivin and his colleagues will be traveling from stadium to stadium in the Pacific Northwest (as well as others not too far by plane, like California).
MLS announcers are regionally focused, allowing them to become experts on specific teams in their region. Additionally, for viewers, local biases are removed as they can be assured that most of the comments are made by neutral commentators.
An advantage of Major League Soccer is that instead of having announcers fly around the country to watch games twice a week, they can cut down on transportation costs.
Radio broadcasting is another option to consider
So, if you still want the game’s local tendencies, remember that the MLS Season Pass has the ability to sync the game’s local radio broadcasts rather than regional announcers.
The MLS Season Pass goes on sale February 1, 2023 for $14.99/month or $99/year. The debut game on Apple is scheduled for February 25, 2023.
Photo: IMAGO/ZUMA wire