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Sportfive finds USL’s first international broadcaster

Image credit: USL

The Sportfive agency has negotiated the United Soccer League’s first media-rights deal with an international broadcaster by signing an agreement with Caribbean pay-television broadcaster Flow Sports.

The deal allows Flow Sports to broadcast USL Championship matches across 22 countries in the Caribbean region.

Sportfive, which recently rebranded from its Lagardère Sports name, was brought on board at the start of the year to distribute international broadcast rights to the USL Championship and USL League One. The agency and United Soccer League, the body that oversees the two divisions, signed a three-year agreement running from 2020 to 2022.

USL executive vice-president Court Jeske said today (Tuesday): “The USL is excited to partner with Flow to better serve our Caribbean fans and I expect this will be the first of many international territories to get a fresh look at USL’s brand of soccer. With a large amount of Championship players representing countries in that region, we’re thrilled to offer fans an opportunity to gain regular access to our leagues.”

Flow Sports already holds rights to various football properties, including the Uefa Champions League and Europa League, Concacaf tournaments, 2022 World Cup qualifiers in the Concacaf region and the Coppa Italia.

The USL Championship and USL League One have traditionally relied on free streaming on YouTube for international exposure.

The United Soccer League first offered its international YouTube streaming (outside of the US) in 2014. The service was added for the inaugural USL League One season in 2019.

The two leagues combined entail more than 750 regular-season matches.

Sportfive was appointed at the start of 2017 to sell the international media rights to the 2017 and 2019 editions of the Concacaf Gold Cup, the international team tournament featuring sides from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

International rights to the top-tier Major League Soccer are sold by the rival IMG agency in an eight-year contract from 2015 to 2022.