Two months after being purchased by cable veteran Rocco Commisso, the New York Cosmos have secured a regional TV deal for their spring games, which will be shown on New York independent station WPIX and MSG Networks.
The club’s NASL home opener against Miami FC at MCU Park on April 1 will be broadcast on Tribune Media’s flagship New York station, WPIX, Channel 11. According to the team, the game marks the first time the Cosmos will play live on broadcast television in over 30 years.
MSG Networks will kick off their Cosmos coverage on April 8, with a match against Miami FC at FIU Stadium in Miami. MSG Networks will carry a total of 13 of the club’s games during the spring season.
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"Television is a critically important piece to building and sustaining a successful professional sports brand,” said Cosmos’ Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover in a statement. “With WPIX and MSG, we have found two exceptional partners to help bring the fun and excitement of Cosmos’ games to millions of homes in the New York metropolitan area.”
In addition to the regional coverage on WPIX and MSG Networks, a number of Cosmos games will be available through the national television deal expected to be announced by the NASL before the spring season starts later in March. The Cosmos local television schedule for the fall season will be announced later in the year.
Cosmos games had originally been shown on pay TV network One World Sports – its former owner was a partner in the firm that owns the network. One World Sports has fallen on hard times recently, but is expected to announce a deal with U.K. sports network Eleven Sports later in the week.
Commisso, the founder, chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications, agreed to purchase the Cosmos in January. Since buying the team, Commisso has managed to secure its leadership, pay back wages to players and front office personnel and find a new home for the club – Brooklyn’s MCU Park. He had said in the past that striking a TV deal was on the agenda, but was a lower priority. With those major hurdles cleared, the time was ripe to strike a TV agreement.
"MSG Networks is proud to be the regional home of Cosmos soccer,” said MSG Network’s Vice President of Content Distribution and Affiliate Partnerships Armando Polanco in a statement. "It's a new era for the legendary American club and we are excited to watch the Cosmos defend their NASL title."