HomeNewsLacrosseUSA

Major League Lacrosse repatriates media rights amid restructure

Major League Lacrosse has opted to take back its media rights as part of a major overhaul as it prepares to face increased competition in the US marketplace.

The league has reacquired all linear, digital and social broadcast media rights to air MLL games and said it will explore broadcast options with broader distribution that will benefit fans, players and league sponsors.

The MLL leadership also unanimously agreed on a ‘one team per owner’ strategy and will restructure the organisation to focus on expansion in strategic markets with the goal of establishing Eastern and Western conferences.

MLL will not be operating the Ohio Machine, the Florida Launch or the Charlotte Hounds in 2019 as a result of the new ownership rules. But the Charlotte Hounds will return in 2021 under new ownership. MLL said discussions are ongoing for expansion with new owners for teams for the 2020 season.

“When we announced our MLL strategic plan in August 2018, our owners were resolute in taking meaningful steps to position the league for success,” Alexander Brown, MLL commissioner, said. “Today’s [Monday’s] news of the league restructuring and the reacquisition of our media rights, are central to our growth.”

MLL has been operating for 19 years, but is set to meet with a fresh challenge this summer when a new direct competitor launches, in the shape of the Premier Lacrosse League.

 

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.