Starting with the next match against Real Salt Lake, Orlando City will be expanding its broadcasts to YouTube TV, a new official streaming partner for the club. The remaining 18 locally televised matches for this season will be available including pregame, halftime, and post-game shows. The deal does not affect Orlando City’s availability on the new ESPN+ platform.
In addition, the club’s matches will still be available locally on WRDQ TV27, and on radio — in English on WYGM FM 96.9 The Game or WTKS Real Radio 104.1 FM, and in Spanish on La Nueva 990 AM.
“Our fans are constantly on the move, using different devices and consuming our sport through a variety of channels that fit their lifestyles, and we want to keep pushing the boundaries, giving them opportunities to connect with our team from anywhere,” said Orlando City SC Chief Revenue Officer Chris Gallagher in a club press release. “This is an exciting development in the right direction for our club.”
“Orlando City is a family, a movement, and we are excited to contribute to this revolution with a new cable-free way for fans to watch their favorite club,” added Tim Katz, Director of Sports Partnerships for the Americas at YouTube.
YouTube TV is a $40 per month subscription service that offers channels not available through standard YouTube, including ESPN, FOX, FS1, and now the new Orlando City channel. The service includes more than 50 channels currently. However, it is important to note that fans cannot watch games on YouTube TV if they are outside the local Orlando market. So, if you are on vacation, you’re going to have to stream through ESPN+ to catch the Lions.
This is not YouTube TV’s first foray into Major League Soccer. The service famously partnered with expansion Los Angeles Football Club as the new franchise’s shirt sponsor and its exclusive local broadcast partner. That partnership marked the first time in history that a streaming service of any kind has made such a deal with a U.S. pro sports team instead of a TV alternative.
This move allows viewers another avenue to watch Orlando City in addition to normal local broadcast, cable, and ESPN+ options. It is also helpful to those that use alternative “cord cutting” devices like Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Chromecast.
Having another option for people to watch matches is always a positive for the club and the fans.