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MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

September 6, 2016
PRIME TIME VIEWING
Playoffs, MLS Cup dates set


NEW YORK -- The MLS Cup final will be shown in a Saturday night prime time network television slot for the first time, the league announced Tuesday.

The match, scheduled for 8 p.m. ET Dec. 10, will be televised on FOX broadcast networks, UniMás, TSN and RDS. Playoffs will begin Oct. 26, three days after the close of the regular season. Postseason matches will air live in more than 175 countries.

For the first time since 2008, the MLS Cup will air live on a English-language network television, FOX televising the match for the first time. Spanish-language broadcast partner UniMás and UDN, plus Canadian partners TSN (English) and RDS (French) will show the game. Playoff games will be broadcast on FS1, ESPN and UniMás, with some matches on the TSN and RDS networks. Canadian broadcast playoff information will be announced later.

The top six teams in the Eastern and Western conferences qualify for the playoffs, the playoff competition format implemented last season,

Single-game playoff series involving the third and sixth, plus the fourth and fifth, seeds kick off Oct. 26 and 27. Knockout Round matches will be aired on UniMás. ESPN and FS1 will each broadcast one Knockout Round game.

Conference semifinals (two-game, aggregate-goal format, home-and-home series) will be held the next two consecutive weekends. The conference top seed will face the conference lowest-seeded Knockout Round winner. Conference No. 2 seeds will face the conference’s highest-seeded Knockout Round winner. The higher-seeded team will host the second leg of the two-game series. Four teams, two from each conference, will advance to the conference championships.

After taking a break for international FIFA dates (Nov. 7-15), conference champions will play a two-game, aggregate-goal format, Sunday, Nov. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 30.

The conference champions advance to MLS Cup final at the home of the finalist with the best regular-season record.

2016 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule
Knockout Round
(conference third seed vs. sixth, and fourth seed vs. fifth seed in a single-game elimination match)

October 26-27
Eastern and Western Conference Knockout Round games

Two games Wednesday Night (times TBD)
ESPN2 & UniMás
UniMás

Two games Thursday Night (times TBD)
FS1 & UniMás
UniMás

Conference Semifinals
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal format between conference top seed vs. lowest advancing seed from Knockout Round and conference second seed vs. highest seed from Knockout Round)

Sunday, Oct. 30
Eastern and Western Conference Leg 1:
• 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
• 5 p.m. ET (ESPN)
• 7 p.m. ET (FS1)
• 9:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

Sunday, Nov. 6
Eastern and Western Conference Leg 2:
• 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
• 5 p.m. ET (ESPN)
• 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
• 10 p.m. ET (FS1)

Conference Championships
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal format)

Sunday, Nov. 20
Western Conference Championship Leg 1 (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)
Tuesday, Nov. 22
Eastern Conference Championship Leg 1 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET

Sunday, Nov. 27
Western Conference Championship Leg 2 (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, Nov. 30
Eastern Conference Championship Leg 2 (FS1, 7 p.m. ET)

2016 MLS Cup
(at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular season record)

Saturday, Dec. 10
2016 MLS Cup (FOX, UniMás, TSN, RDS, 8 p.m. ET)

   
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