Minnesota United FC is less than a week from their first match and, as fans have so kindly pointed out, the club has not yet announced who holds the broadcast rights for their games. A scroll through Twitter reveals that this is a legitimate source of #PANIC for a lot of fans.
The preseason has left MNUFC fans like Lewis and Clark: constantly looking for the next stream. Relying on subpar livestreams of games has been a source of frustration, and a broadcast deal would give local supporters a reliable way to see/hear every match. United does have 8 nationally televised games (including their first two games of the season), but that is less than a third of the schedule. MLS Live is an option for all non-blacked out broadcasts, but the $70-80 price tag isn’t the best option for a lot of fans.
Minnesota United has been making progress, it seems. They announced their broadcast team over a month ago, and recently hired a Director of Broadcasting.
New job with #MNUFC starts today! Director of Broadcasting, reporting for duty.— Morgan Lubben (@McLubben) February 20, 2017
It may feel like they are, but Minnesota United isn’t that far behind. The club has their first two games being broadcast on national television, so this need for a local broadcast will only really come into play for the March 18th game vs. Colorado Rapids. Fellow expansion club Atlanta United only announced their broadcast partner earlier this week. Taking a look at the broadcast rights across the league, there is not a club without a local broadcast partner. In fact, it seems someone on Wikipedia knows more than we do, naming WCCO as Minnesota United’s broadcast partner.
While a partnership with WCCO would be awesome, both on radio and television, it is in no way confirmed or accurate... yet. A partnership with WCCO would make sense, as they already provide the Minnesota Timberwolves radio broadcast. A TV deal with them would be unique, considering a majority of the teams in the Twin Cities call Fox Sports North home (Wild, Timberwolves, and Lynx; Gophers on BTN and Vikings on Fox 9).
While we cannot confirm that WCCO is the actual partner, we think the team may be making an announcement very soon. Allow us to put on our tin foil hats real quick, because this gets a bit conspiracy...-y(?):
Minnesota United is going to announce their broadcast partner this weekend and they are going to put them right to work, broadcasting Sunday’s match vs. San Antonio FC.
The match mysteriously disappeared from the club’s website earlier this week, though San Antonio appears to think the match is still on.
Minnesota United has been unsurprisingly quiet about stream possibilities for the match, fitting in with the rest of the preseason where the matches were typically provided by the opposing team. Maybe this silence is a build up for a big announcement about the broadcast rather than a stream!
New play-by-play announcer Callum Williams is already down in Orlando, maybe prepping for his own preseason tuneup?
We took a look through the TV listings for Sunday afternoon, and the only soccer broadcast is a re-air of the Bundesliga on FSN+. Minnesota United may be maintaining their usual silence, trying to prevent the surprise from being spoiled. The match is scheduled for 11:30am, not necessarily a prime time slot, so they may be easy to bump in favor of MNUFC coverage.
It’s not the most concrete evidence for a broadcast announcement, but sometimes it’s fun to follow a thread. The lack of evidence can be evidence, right?
Regardless, the club has yet to announce a deal, and we hope it is announced before the season starts in less... than... a... week. #PANIC