The Lions are returning to their original MLS television home. Orlando City announced this morning a multi-year partnership with WOFL FOX35 that will make WRBW My65 the flagship station for the Lions’ locally-televised games. The club originally partnered with the local FOX affiliate in December of 2014 but moved over to WRDQ TV27 in January of 2016.
The move to TV27 prior to the 2016 season introduced 30-minute pre- and post-game shows, as well as a weekly Orlando City-centric TV show, which gave fans an inside look into the club, including player features and behind-the-scenes access. Now, after three seasons on TV27, Orlando City is returning to FOX 35/My65.
“We are very pleased to join the FOX family,” said Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão in a club press release. “This was a strategic decision to align our locally-televised games with a network known for providing great soccer programming. We hope to bring our fans in Central Florida closer to the global soccer conversation through this partnership ahead of an important year for both the men and women’s game.”
The family of FOX networks — FOX35, My65, and FOX Sports — will broadcast 30 of the Lions’ 34 regular-season matches in 2019. If the 2015 season is anything to judge by, most of those games will be on My65. FOX will also broadcast the 2019 MLS All-Star Game, which will be held July 31 at Orlando City Stadium.
“Forming this alliance makes perfect sense, as we can further demonstrate our commitment to soccer coverage in a market full of viewers that demand it,” Vice President and General Manager of WOFL/WRBW Allyson Meyers added in the club’s release. “We are excited to offer soccer fans complete coverage before, during, and after each of the games across multiple platforms.”
Despite Leitão’s mention of 2019 being an important year in both the men’s and women’s game, the release does not discuss televising Pride matches locally as part of this partnership. However, FOX will broadcast this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup from France. The event will feature several Pride players participating for their national teams.
Through YouTube TV, the club’s exclusive streaming partner, online subscribers can access FOX’s locally and nationally televised matches. Outside the local market, the Lions can be streamed on ESPN+.