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.