MLS Takes On NBA For Best Twitter Game
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NBA Twitter created a whole new way to watch basketball in America. Major League Soccer appears to want to do the same thing with its new MLS Twitter deal, announced Friday, which will include the broadcast of at least 24 live matches this season.
There are a lot of Twitter cultures out there, such as Black Twitter and NBA Twitter. Major League Soccer clearly wants MLS Twitter to be a thing and this three-year deal is a step in the right direction. The most notable facet of the deal is the streaming of about one match per week via @UnivisionSports and @MLS.
Starting tomorrow with #RSLvLAFC, you’ll be able to watch MLS action right here on Twitter!We’ve partnered with Twitter & @UnivisionSports to stream least 24 matches in 2018.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 9, 2018
"MLS constantly strives to connect with fans in new and innovative ways," said Chris Schlosser, senior vice president and general manager of MLS Digital, in a news release. "Our fans are the youngest and most socially engaged in pro sports, which is why we are excited to partner with Twitter to feature live matches on their platform."
While Schlosser may have a point in terms of demographics, MLS doesn’t have near the prominence on social media as the NBA has, particularly on Twitter. As Maxwell Neely-Cohen wrote for the New Republic:
“Twitter has become the epicenter of basketball fandom, a beating heart and a central nervous system, a place where serious statistical analysis flows alongside highlights, jokes, exclamations, and inane trash talk from every conceivable corner of the world.”
MLS, with its young, engaged fan base, isn’t at the level of the NBA just yet. Some of that is down to popularity — basketball is just more prevalent in the U.S. in general — but some of that is down to the culture of the sport, something this new deal hopes to push in a positive direction for MLS.
While the live streaming of matches is a huge plus for fans and MLS spreading its brand in general, a key piece of this three-year Twitter MLS deal is weekly programming that includes highlights and features. This will help keep MLS fans engaged on Twitter throughout the week and encourage more fans to reengage during matches, especially those broadcast for free on Twitter.
This isn’t to say MLS clubs have been doing a poor job on social media. Personally I think most all clubs are doing a pretty good job of marketing themselves and understanding social media’s importance. But this MLS Twitter partnership will broaden the scope of coverage and help challenge NBA Twitter as the best social media culture in sports.
Best of all for MLS fans, you can start streaming matches starting Saturday with Real Salt Lake against LAFC. If you missed LAFC’s debut win over Seattle on Sunday, you definitely don’t want to miss their encore.
MLS Twitter And Univision Live Broadcast Matches
- Sat, Mar 10 3:30 PM ET Real Salt Lake vs. LAFC
- Sat, Mar 17 3:30 PM ET NYCFC vs. Orlando
- Sat, Mar 24 3:30 PM ET FC Dallas vs. Portland
- Sat, Mar 31 1:00 PM ET Orlando vs. NY Red Bulls
- Sat, Apr 7 3:00 PM ET NY Red Bulls vs. Houston
- Sat, Apr 14 3:30 PM ET Chicago vs. LA Galaxy
- Sat, Apr 21 2:00 PM ET NY Red Bulls vs. Chicago
- Sat, Apr 28 3:30 PM ET Philadelphia vs. D.C. United
- Sat, May 5 4:00 PM ET LAFC vs. FC Dallas
- Sat, May 12 3:30 PM ET FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy
- Sun, May 20 4:00 PM ET Chicago vs. Houston
- Fri, May 25 9:00 PM ET Houston vs. NYCFC
- Fri, May 25 11:00 PM ET LA Galaxy vs. San Jose
- Sat, Jun 2 3:00 PM ET Chicago vs. San Jose
- Sat, Jun 23 6:00 PM ET NY Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas
- Sat, Jun 30 10:00 PM ET San Jose vs. LA Galaxy
- Sat, Jul 21 3:30 PM ET Atlanta vs. D.C. United
- Thu, Aug 23 9:00 PM ET Houston vs. FC Dallas
- Sat, Sep 8 3:30 PM ET NYCFC vs. D.C. United
- Sat, Sep 15 3:30 PM ET Colorado vs. Atlanta
- Sat, Sep 22 3:30 PM ET LAFC vs. San Jose
- Sat, Sep 29 3:30 PM ET Chicago vs. LAFC
- Sat, Oct 6 3:30 PM ET Atlanta vs. New England
- Sat, Oct 13 3:30 PM ET D.C. United vs. FC Dallas