The FOX network saw great success with its split NFL/MLS doubleheader last year. It was a way to expose MLS to American football fans that are usually in front of the television all Sunday long anyway. On September 20 of last year, FOX showed Sporting KC and the L.A. Galaxy followed by Toronto FC/New York Red Bulls match, drawing nearly 1.3 million viewers - certainly a big number relatively speaking for the league especially with other NFL action going on.
FOX is now ready to try it once more, and this year it is set for September 24. In the first game of the doubleheader, Sporting Kansas City will play host to the LA Galaxy at 2pm. Those in the Kansas City and Los Angeles market will see the game, along with markets around the country that are in FOX’s 4pm window for football. Everyone else will see the NFL, including Atlanta, as the Falcons are scheduled to play the Falcons in Detroit in a 1pm game.
The second game will feature Atlanta United and the Montreal Impact at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 5pm. Markets that were in FOX’s 1pm window for the NFL will see the match, while everyone else will see either the Bengals vs. Packers or Chiefs vs. Chargers.
FOX’s end goal is to get eyes on MLS and help the league gain a more mainstream following. They took a big step last year, and if the results from then are a good barometer, they are set for even more forward momentum.