Major League Soccer today announced that 2016 MLS Cup will be televised on FOX broadcast network, UniMás, TSN and RDS on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. CT, the first time in the league's 21-season history the championship match will be played on a Saturday evening in primetime on network television. In addition, the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs dates have been set, with postseason action kicking off on October 26-27 following the close of regular season play on Sunday, Oct. 23. Postseason matches will air live in more than 175 countries worldwide.
For the first time since 2008, MLS Cup will air live on English-language network television, as FOX televises the championship match for the first time. Joining FOX for MLS Cup are Spanish-language broadcast partner UniMás and UDN as well as Canadian broadcast partners TSN (English) and RDS (French). Once again, all games in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs will be broadcast nationally across the league’s domestic partners FS1, ESPN and UniMás with select matches on the TSN and RDS family of networks. Canadian broadcast information for the playoffs will be announced at a later date.
Following the same playoff competition format implemented last season, the top six teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences will qualify for the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The playoffs kick off with two Knockout Round games on Oct. 26-27, during which the third and sixth seeds, and fourth and fifth seeds from each conference, will face in a single-game elimination match. Just as in 2015, the Knockout Round matches will be aired on UniMás, however, this season, ESPN and FS1 will each broadcast one Knockout Round game as well.
Knockout Round winners advance to the Conference Semifinals -- a two-game, aggregate-goal format, home-and-home series held across the next two consecutive weekends. Each conference’s top seed will face their respective conference’s lowest-seeded Knockout Round winner. Each conference’s No. 2 seed will face their respective 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 a break in play to observe the international FIFA window from Nov. 7-15, playoff action will resume with the two-game, aggregate-goal format, Conference Championship series to be played between Sunday, Nov. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 30.
The two conference champions advance to 2016 MLS Cup, which will be played at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular-season record, as it has been since the 2012 season.