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MLS scores Cuban rights deal

North America’s Major League Soccer has brokered a deal for Cuban state broadcaster Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión to broadcast its All-Star Game, along with a forthcoming men’s national team friendly match between Cuba and the United States.

The agreement with ICRT, Cuba’s free-to-air broadcaster, means the MLS All-Star Game will be broadcast in the country for the first time. The 2016 event takes place on July 28 and will see the MLS team take on English Premier League club Arsenal in San Jose.

The deal is the latest in a series of international television partnerships MLS has struck over the past year and the league said the 2016 All-Star Game will air in a record 166 countries and territories worldwide.

As part of the agreement with ICRT, MLS said the Cuban broadcaster will also promote the US national team’s friendly in Havana on October 7, the first US national team match in Cuba since a Fifa World Cup qualifier in 2008.