If there has been one mistake by Columbus Crew SC in the Anthony Precourt era, it's the 2014 TV deal. The club fixed that today with a landmark television broadcast partnership. Now anyone in North America has an option to watch Crew SC soccer pretty much how they want to.
The previous deal centered on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. The product was good, but distribution was extremely limited. Those who could see it, loved it but not enough people could watch. That changes today. TWCSC remains a partner, but Sinclair Broadcast Group joins as another broadcast partner. Crew SC games will now be seen over the air in addition to Time Warner Cable.
The team went one step farther and lifted the territory blackouts on the digital MLS Live service and the subscription Direct Kick service. Online viewers can watch all non-national Crew SC games on their computer, tablet, or via subscription on platforms like DirecTV.
The reach is truly massive. The team claims that distribution now will reach to all 907,000 television viewing households in the Columbus metro area while retaining the reach of Time Warner beyond Central Ohio. The deal is inclusive of mobile-only viewers through the non-blacked out MLS Live platform. Everyone can watch. No moving cable systems, no proxies, no illicit internet streams.
Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
TWCSC will remain a key broadcast partner with Crew SC. They will have all non-national games live on their channel with a pre and postgame show, plus the weekly Access Crew SC magazine show. That's 31 matchdays on TWCSC across Ohio and into Northern Kentucky and into Pennsylvania.
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Crew SC matches will be seen on four different Sinclair channels. 25 matches will be on WWHO The CW Columbus 53. Another two will be on WTTE FOX-28. The April 30th away match against the Seattle Sounders will be on WSXY ABC-6. MyTVColumbus 6.2 will show an additional four matches.
In addition to being available over the air, each channel is also carried on ATT U-Verse, WOW, DirecTV, and DISH. Cord cutters and cable viewers beyond TWC can now enjoy Crew SC soccer.
The increased distribution also extends to people who don't even have TVs. The team lifted blackout restrictions on the MLS Live platform for every non-national game. All 31 games will be available anywhere you can subscribe to MLS Live. Phone, tablet, and computer streaming users can now watch Crew SC soccer without having to go through any VPN or geolocation hoops. Subscribe and click to watch.
The old broadcast deal hamstrung the trajectory that the team had been on. The rebrand has been phenomenally successful, attendance continues to rise, and corporate partnership interest is at an all-time high.
This deal makes the team a centerpiece of the city. You don't have to work to watch Crew SC games. It's harder finding ways not to watch. This only helps the team grow.