DC United calls time on FloSports streaming deal

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 29: Wayne Rooney #9 of D.C. United looks on before a game against the Philadelphia Union at Audi Field on August 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Major League Soccer team DC United has called time on its local broadcast deal with subscription-based OTT streaming provider FloSports after less than a season.

The four-year deal, which was signed in January, was worth a reported $12m over the duration of the contract.

The team’s final regular season home game of the season – Oct. 6 against FC Cincinnati – will be made available free to fans on the club’s official website. All playoff games will be broadcast on MLS’s national broadcast partners: ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision.

The deal with the Austin, Texas-based start-up FloSports was troubled from the outset. Fans were unhappy about paying the costs for the streaming service, which ranged between $5.99 and $8.99 per month, as well as technical problems that marred many games. It is unknown how many fans signed up for the service.

“Announcements on broadcast plans for the 2020 season and beyond will be made in due course,” DC United said in a statement.

FC Cincinnati, DC United’s opponent this weekend, also has a media rights deal with FloSports.

Notably, fellow MLS team Chicago Fire has a local media rights partnership with ESPN+, widely deemed to be a far higher-quality product. But new owner Joe Mansueto is looking to secure a return to linear television from the 2021 season.

Read this: DC United leverages twin impact of Audi Field and ‘Rooney effect’ into new deals