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YouTube TV Nabs Exclusive Streaming Rights to Seattle Sounders Games, Its Second MLS Deal

YouTube TV is getting its hands on more exclusive sports television rights, through a multiyear deal with Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC.

Starting with the 2018 MLS season, YouTube TV will become the exclusive streaming destination for all Sounders FC matches, which includes exclusive rights to the club’s 20 regionally televised contests that will be presented on a dedicated Sounders FC channel on YouTube TV. Previously, AT&T’s Root Sports regional sports network had a deal to carry out-of-market Sounders games in Spokane and Yakima markets. In 2017, Sounders games were not available for streaming.

It’s the second such deal for YouTube TV, which announced a deal with MLS expansion team Los Angeles FC about a month ago giving it exclusive L.A.-area TV rights to 18 games. YouTube TV also snagged naming rights on jerseys for the Los Angeles FC team, whose owners include Peter Guber, Magic Johnson and Will Ferrell.

As it turns out, the Sounders will kick off their 10th season in the MLS against Los Angeles FC on Sunday, March 4.

For the Seattle Sounders, the YouTube TV pact is the first such agreement of its kind. YouTube TV users also can watch the Seattle team’s 14 nationally televised matches on ESPN, Fox and Fox Sports 1. On Tuesday, Seattle Sounders FC announced multiyear renewals of regional over-the-air broadcast deals with Fox Seattle affiliate KCPQ and JOEtv.

“With the addition of YouTube TV into our viewing arsenal, Sounders fans now have an exciting and creative option for following their team, complementing our traditional broadcast channels,” Sounders FC COO Bart Wiley said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to work with YouTube TV as our club’s first official streaming partner, and we look forward to building a strong partnership together.”

YouTube TV customers will be able to watch the regionally televised Sounders games if they live in the greater Puget Sound metro area, which includes Spokane and throughout Western Washington in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“Sounders FC have one of the most passionate fanbases of any team in the MLS and we couldn’t be prouder to partner with them as their official live TV streaming provider,” said Tim Katz, YouTube’s director of sports partnerships for the Americas.

The price of YouTube TV is rising to $40 per month for new subscribers as of March 13, up from the initial $35 a month (which will not change for existing subscribers).

YouTube TV offers more than 50 channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, and recently added Turner networks including TNT, TBS, and CNN. Other cable nets on the service include ESPN, AMC, and FX, and local sports networks from Fox Sports and NBC Sports in select markets. YouTube TV currently lacks channels from cable programmers including Viacom, Discovery, Scripps Networks Interactive, and A+E Networks,

The Seattle Sounders ownership group includes entrepreneur Adrian Hanauer, Hollywood executive Joe Roth, Seattle Seahawks chairman and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, and actor-comedian Drew Carey. Since joining MLS in 2007, the team and has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs every year; it won the championship in 2016 but lost last year to Toronto FC.

Pictured above: Seattle Sounders FC players (left) in the 2017 MLS Cup Championship against Toronto FC, which beat the Sounders 2-0.

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