Los Angeles Football Club is entering the non-national portion of their TV schedule with Friday’s game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. That means the game won’t be on an ESPN or Fox TV network, or on Univision.
So how can you watch the game? If you are confused about how to access this game and the rest of the non-national broadcasts, we’ve got you covered right here.
If you live in the Los Angeles* market...
You have two options:
- YouTube TV: If you have a subscription to YouTube’s paid television streaming service and you live in the LA market, you will have access to a special LAFC-only channel, where games will be broadcast in English by Max Bretos and a revolving cast of notable soccer personalities. The team is promising a 24-hour channel of LAFC content, so if you really want to stay updated, that’s a good spot to watch LAFC games and associated video content. The website says the service is currently $40/month, you can sign up for it here.
- UniMás 46: You can watch LAFC games in Spanish on the local Univision affiliate. UniMás 46 should be available on all basic cable packages in the LA market, and I believe you can also get this channel over the air (in other words, via antenna without cable) although you may want to check on this before gametime if it applies to you.
* The Los Angeles market, which will be the local blackout zone, goes well beyond LA County. According to LAFC’s info, the blackout zone also encompasses Inyo, Kern, Kings, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, Ventura, and San Diego Counties. If you live in these areas, you will have to either watch on YouTube TV or UniMás 46.
If you do not live in the Los Angeles market...
- You can watch non-national broadcasts on ESPN+. The new streaming service, which launched on Thursday, will have the first MLS broadcasts on Friday, including LAFC’s game against the Whitecaps. The service costs $5/month, and includes other soccer and sports programming beyond MLS, available on the ESPN app. There is currently a one-week period in which you can sign up for a 30-day free trial before the $5/month fee kicks in, but you can quit at any time. You can sign up for ESPN+ right here.
What about MLS Live?
- MLS Live was the streaming service for all non-local non-national MLS games, the same kind of thing as the NBA League Pass or MLB.TV. But like MLB.TV, MLS Live is being absorbed in ESPN+, and better than Major League Baseball’s league pass being an add-on to the ESPN+ service, the MLS games are all included on ESPN+ for no additional fee. The price of ESPN+ right now is actually much better than MLS Live, and it comes with way, way more sports to watch.
A note on USL games
- If you watch USL, you know that games have been available for free on YouTube. As part of the launch of ESPN+, all USL games will now be streamed only on ESPN+. So while the price of MLS games is going down, you do have to technically pay to watch USL games now when you didn’t before. However, it’s the same flat $5 fee per month for both MLS and USL games, so if you are looking for where to watch Orange County SC games, starting with their match on Saturday they will be on ESPN+ moving forward.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!