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Atlanta United seals rights deal ahead of MLS debut

New North American Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United has secured a regional rights deal with channels operated by the Fox Sports division of US network Fox.

Under a multi-year deal, struck ahead of Atlanta’s inaugural season in the league, Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast will have exclusive regional rights to the team’s games that are not broadcast nationally.

Fox Sports declined to say whether it is paying a rights fee, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

MLS requires games that are not picked up by national rights-holders ESPN, Fox Sports or Univision to be shown by a local broadcast partner so that MLS Live, the league’s channel, can simulcast coverage of the games.

Atlanta matches shown on the regional channels will reach 10 million households across Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The new agreement includes a 30-minute pre-game and post-game programme called Atlanta United LIVE! Additionally, a weekly 30-minute studio show called Atlanta United: Match Week will premiere at 6.30pm on April 4.

Atlanta United has sold more than 27,000 season tickets for the 2017.campaign.