Some Major League Soccer matches will be shown on network television next year as part of a three-year deal with NBC Sports announced by the league Wednesday.
Though the bulk of the matches will be on Versus, NBC will air two MLS regular-season and two playoff matches, along with two US Men's National Team matches starting in 2012.
Versus, which will be renamed NBC Sports Network in January, will carry 38 regular-season and three playoff matches, as well as two US Men's National Team matches.
Major League Soccer's marketing unit, Soccer United Marketing, owns the broadcast rights for the US national team.
The financial terms of the agreement were not announced, but the Los Angeles Times reported it is believed to be worth about $12 million a year.
"Everyone at the NBC Sports Group is thrilled to begin this partnership with Major League Soccer," said Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, which is owned by Comcast.
"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."
MLS commissioner Don Garber echoed Lazarus' sentiments.
"Our new partnership with the NBC Sports Group is a significant step forward for Major League Soccer and US Soccer," said Garber. "The NBC Sports Group is world-renowned for its award-winning coverage, superb broadcast quality and promotional expertise. We are excited to be part of NBC's ambitious plans for soccer, and look forward to reaching a considerable audience on multiple platforms."
ESPN will still carry MLS matches under its own agreement with the league, but the new deal with NBC ends Major League Soccer's relationship with FOX Soccer Channel. The league signed a one-year deal with FOX Soccer for the 2011 season.
FOX Soccer Channel is owned by News Corp., which also owns NewsCore.