ESPN+ and U.S. Soccer announced today an exclusive, multi-year media rights agreement for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s national championship for clubs and the longest-running domestic cup competition in the United States.
What the Deal Includes:
- All U.S. Open Cup matches from the First Round through the Final will air exclusively on ESPN+ beginning this year and running through the 109th edition of the tournament in 2022.
- The deal, negotiated by Soccer United Marketing (SUM) on behalf of the U.S. Soccer Federation, includes rights in all languages.
About the 20119 U.S. Open Cup:
- The 2019 U.S. Open Cup on ESPN+ kicks off May 7-8 with the First Round, featuring 38 amateur and Division III professional teams from across the United States.
- Twenty-five Division II professional teams enter in the Second Round on May 14-15, while the Third Round, scheduled for May 29, provides a final hurdle before lower division sides get their shot to square off against the 21 U.S.-based Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs on a national stage.
- Those Division I MLS teams join the competition in the Fourth Round on June 12.
What They Are Saying:
- Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, ESPN: “The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is America’s version of what is truly unique about soccer around the world — knockout format club tournaments that invite the ‘Davids’ and the ‘Goliaths’ from all levels of the sport to compete against one another to determine the nation’s top team. This exciting property joins a robust collection of soccer’s best domestic cup competitions on ESPN+.”
- U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn: “We are extremely pleased by the commitment from ESPN+ to broadcast every game of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the next several years. This landmark agreement demonstrates U.S. Soccer’s commitment to making soccer the preeminent sport in the United States and is the result of growing audience demand for soccer in the U.S. It will provide a national platform for more fans to follow the game in their communities throughout the country.”
- Gary Stevenson, Deputy Commissioner and President of MLS Business Ventures: “For over 100 years, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been the one tournament that engages the entire American soccer community. We are confident that this partnership between U.S. Soccer and ESPN will drive the tournament to new levels and create more opportunities for fans to engage with this compelling content.”