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Posted at 05:01 PM ET, 03/05/2012

Explaining D.C. United’s local TV deal with Comcast SportsNet

If you look at D.C. United’s schedule, you’ll notice no TV designations for nine of the 34 regular season matches. That’s quite a few.

Consider it a work in progress.

It’s true, not every game will appear on your small screen this season. But by the end of the campaign, you will have been able to watch all but two or three, I’m told.

On Monday, United and Comcast SportsNet announced the renewal of their partnership and plans for coverage of 15 matches. United is also set to appear exclusively on national outlets nine times: NBC Sports Network (five), ESPN2 (two) and Galavision (two). Three other Galavision matches will also be carried locally by Comcast SportsNet.

Comcast will produce a 16th match — April 18 against the expansion Montreal Impact — but the platform hasn’t been determined. The regional station and United are also planning to add several away games in August through October, I’m told, but the specifics hinge on working around potential scheduling conflicts with the Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards.

United’s MLS opener this Saturday night against Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium will appear on Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+). The Wizards’ game that night has priority and will be shown on CSN’s main channel. (To find CSN+ on your cable system, click here and fill in your local information.)

Comcast no longer pays a rights fee to show United matches — that deal expired after the 2010 season — but does cover a large share of the production costs. It’s a better arrangement than what several MLS teams have: Many cover all expenses in addition to buying the two-hour TV window on their local outlet.

As the Insider reported a few weeks ago, former United captain John Harkes will join Dave Johnson in the broadcast booth. Harkes worked for United/Comcast in 2005-06 before joining ESPN for the past five years and two World Cups.

As for radio, WDCN 87.7 FM (Spanish) will again call all matches live. The commentators are on site for home games and, when United is on the road, will watch a video feed from the studio. The audio is available at www.lanueva877.com as well.

United does not offer English-language radio or streaming audio.

By  |  05:01 PM ET, 03/05/2012

Tags:  D.C. United, MLS, Comcast, Capitals, Redskins, Wizards

 
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