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Friday, April 30, 2010

MLL's New Deal: Good Idea... In Theory

After announcing a weak ESPN schedule on April 12th, Major League Lacrosse decided to add more televised games this season. On the heels of the paltry 3 regular season games, all star game, 1 playoff game, and the championship on ESPN2, MLL announced a second television deal for an additional 33 regular season games and the other playoff game. That means that all 40 (36/1/3) games will be televised for the first time ever.

Unfortunately, nobody in the Des Moines area will able to watch anything beyond the original six games on ESPN2. In fact, I am not sure how many people across the country will be able to watch the games. According to one Lizards player, Universal Sports in not available on any of the local cable systems. On the network's website, I checked for Mediacom, Direct TV, and Dish Network and got the same message every time, "Unfortunately, Universal Sports is not available through ___!" But Wikipedia says it is available in Omaha.

Hopefully the deal extends beyond this season. Universal Sports is an infant in the TV world (been around two years) but is backed by NBC Universal. The network is jointly owned by Comcast and GE. Why the new sports channel was chosen over Versus is beyond me.

All of the games not aired on ESPN2 are available online at ESPN3. The full schedules are available via the linked articles above.

ESPN2 Schedule (Des Moines time):

Saturday, May 22 - Chesapeake at Toronto -1 pm

Saturday, June 12 - Denver at Boston - 2 pm

Saturday, July 3 - Chicago at Long Island - 2 pm

Thursday, July 8 - MLL All-Star Game - 6 pm

Saturday, August 21 - Semifinal #1 - 11 am

Sunday, August 22 - Championship -Noon

Tribe 7