Major League Soccer (MLS) is smartly milking prized asset David Beckham for every rating point possible, announcing a national television schedule Tuesday that has his Los Angeles Galaxy team playing on national TV nearly every week after his scheduled mid-summer arrival.
With Beckham due to begin playing sometime around early August when his current contract in Spain expires roughly halfway through the MLS season, 16 of the Galaxy’s final 17 regular-season games will be aired on national television.
MLS this year enters a new round of television contracts with partners including ABC/ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol, HDNet and Univision networks including TeleFutura and Galavision.
Throughout the April-October regular season, ESPN2 will usually air games on Thursdays, the Fox networks and HDNet on Saturdays and the Univision networks on Sundays.
The ESPN networks will also add at least one other game this season, which could be the September 16 Los Angeles Galaxy-Houston Dynamo contest, currently the only late-season Galaxy game not on national television.
ABC will air the first and last matches of the season, including the season opener between DC United and the Colorado Rapids on April 7 and the league’s MLS Cup championship game on November 18.