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Major League Soccer Signs Broadcast Agreement With NBC Sports

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Major League Soccer signed a three-year national television contract with NBC Sports Group that will begin with the 2012 season.

Comcast Corp.’s NBC and NBC Sports Network, which will be re-branded from Versus in January, will televise 45 MLS games and four U.S. men’s national soccer team matches per season, NBC and MLS said in a joint news release.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The deal is worth $10 million per season, the Sports Business Journal reported, citing unidentified people.

“MLS is a perfect fit for our new group, and we are uniquely positioned to help grow soccer in the United States with extensive coverage on NBC Sports Network, significant programming on the broadcast network and our growing digital platforms,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said in a statement.

NBC will air two regular-season and two playoff games each season as well as two national team games, while the cable network will broadcast the other matches.

MLS already has local-coverage partnerships with five Comcast Sportsnets: California, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England and Philadelphia.

News Corp.’s Fox Soccer held the soccer league’s previous television contract.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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