WRDQ, the independent Cox station in Orlando, is the new home for the Orlando City Soccer Club.
The MLS team announced Wednesday a multi-year local broadcast deal with the station, which is in a duopoly with ABC affiliate WFTV and part of Cox Media Group’s Orlando TV group, for rights to air all of the Lions’ matches not televised nationally. The broadcasts will be increased to include new half-hour pregame and postgame shows. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to partner with WRDQ TV 27 and WFTV 9 to offer our fans even more Orlando City content each and every week of the 2016 season,” said Phil Rawlins, Orlando City founder and president. “The addition of a pre and postgame show will elevate the match broadcast to a higher level for our loyal and discerning fans.”
WRDQ will also premiere a weekly show featuring player profiles and behind-the-scenes access, with cross-promotional opportunities with top-rated WFTV. The station will broadcast the Lions’ MLS home opener March 6 against Real Salt Lake at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
Cox and the Lions organization are also trying to produce a TV broadcast network to televise matches in markets throughout the state.
“This is a wonderful day in the history of WRDQ TV 27 and Cox Orlando,” said Paul Curran, WFTV/WRDQ VP and general manager. “The station was founded on the premise of localism and community service. Adding Orlando City to our programming portfolio is a natural extension of that promise to our viewers as our values match-up perfectly.”