LANSING, Mich. – The United Soccer League and ESPN have reached a landmark agreement that will continue the multi-level growth of professional soccer in the U.S. and bring every game of USL League One’s inaugural 2019 season to ESPN+, the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.
Lansing Ignite FC is one of 10 teams competing in USL League One, which is the new United States Soccer Federation-sanctioned Division III league. The team's regular season kicks off against the Richmond Kickers in Richmond, Virginia, on March 30 and concludes against Forward Madison FC at Cooley Law School Stadium on Oct. 5.
“This is a big moment for League One,” said League One Senior Vice President Steven Short. “Placing the league side-by-side with some of the best professional soccer in North America and the rest of the world on ESPN+ will create major visibility to League One’s inaugural season. It will allow us to showcase the best of what this league will have to offer for fans across the United States.”
The addition of League One’s 2019 regular season and postseason schedules to the platform, results in more than 700 games across the USL Championship and League One on ESPN+ in the 2019 season. The games will be produced by USL Productions, the league’s state-of-the-art broadcast production, broadcast and distribution facilities with VISTA WorldLink in south Florida.
Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has already surpassed two million subscribers and established itself as a must-have for soccer fans in the U.S. It offers hundreds of top-level soccer matches from around the world, including Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League, Italy’s Serie A, England’s FA Cup and English Football League Championship and League 1, the Dutch Eredivisie, Australia’s A-League and more.
The United Soccer League will enter its fourth full season of media rights agreement with ESPN in 2019, with contests from the USL Championship having aired regularly on ESPN’s platforms since the start of the 2016 campaign. Last November the USL Cup aired on ESPN2 for the first time as Louisville City FC claimed its second consecutive championship with victory against Phoenix Rising FC.