Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


“This has to be one of the most hyped-up and most-anticipated early season matches in MLS history.” – John Strong

Seattle-Sporting Kansas City MLS Opener Best Ever on NBCSN following Premier League Lead-In

Seattle vs. Defending MLS Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City Ranks as NBCSN’s Third-Most Watched MLS Match behind Only 2 Games with London Olympics Lead-Ins

Stamford, Conn. – March 12, 2014 – NBC Sports Network’s Major League Soccer coverage this weekend features Toronto FC in their season debut against Seattle Sounders FC (1-0-0, 3 pts.) at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, immediately following Premier League coverage.

Toronto debuts U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Michael Bradley, former Tottenham Hotspur forward Jermain Defoe, Brazilian National Team goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Brazilian striker Gilberto and 2011 MLS MVP and Canadian National Team player Dwayne De Rosario against Sounders and U.S. Men’s National Team captain Clint Dempsey, who come off a 1-0 victory over defending champion Sporting Kansas City in the season opener.

Last week, bolstered by a lead-in and in-telecast promotion from the Chelsea-Tottenham top-tier Premier League match, the MLS season opener between Seattle and Sporting Kansas City on Saturday registered 330,000 viewers, ranking as NBCSN’s best MLS opener, up 208% from the ’13 opener and nearly tripling the 2013 season average MLS on NBCSN audience. Sounders-Sporting was also up 49% from the ’13 MLS opener on ESPN2 (Portland-New York, 3/3/13, 221,000 viewers).

In addition, the Seattle-Sporting Kansas City match is the third most-watched MLS game ever on NBCSN trailing only a pair of primetime matches which had 2012 London Olympics lead-ins (Dallas-Portland, 8/5/12, 405,000 viewers; Los Angeles-Dallas, 7/28/12, 392,000 viewers).

COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group’s lead play-by-play announcer John Strong will call the match and will be joined by former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Kyle Martino and host Russ Thaler at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash.

Strong on Seattle Sounders FC v. Toronto FC: “This has to be one of the most hyped-up and most-anticipated early season matches in MLS history. I’m not sure what more you could ask for in March as two of the biggest stars of the U.S. National Team face-off alongside two highly anticipated debuts by European stars in front of another massive Seattle crowd. We have had this game circled on our calendars for weeks.”


NBCSN’s coverage of Sounders v. Toronto will be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

About NBC Sports Group’s Soccer Coverage

NBC Sports Group’s networks and platforms are leading destinations for soccer fans in the U.S. Its soccer portfolio includes Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches, the men’s and women’s Olympic soccer tournaments, and the Premier League. NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, is the home for all 380 Premier League matches, as well as comprehensive shoulder programming. NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and mun2 also provide comprehensive Spanish-language soccer coverage. Both channels will air Premier League matches, as well as serve as the U.S. Spanish-language home for the FIFA World Cup from 2015 through 2022. Online, ProSoccerTalk on provides comprehensive coverage of the sport, from the Premier League to MLS to the U.S. National Team and other key international soccer stories.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit