TAMPA, Fla. – The 2016 USL Cup, the United Soccer League’s annual championship game, has been scheduled for Sunday, October 23, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The game will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider, as well as globally via ESPN International and the network’s international partnerships.
The 2016 USL Cup will be played at a site to be determined, featuring the USL’s Eastern Conference Champion versus the Western Conference Champion in a one-game, winner-take-all format.
“We are thrilled to bring the 2016 USL Cup, the league’s marquee event, to a prime time audience on ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” said Jake Edwards, USL President. “ESPN has been a great partner to the USL and we look forward to expanding our relationship that began in 2015. This will also serve as a great opportunity to showcase our newest broadcast initiative, USL Productions.”
In the coming weeks, ESPN and USL Productions will announce the on-air talent and other production elements planned for the championship.
USL Productions, the standalone division of the league that will be the exclusive and premier producer/provider of all USL content across all linear and digital platforms that was announced earlier this year, will produce the 2016 USL Cup. USL Productions will run in association with VISTA Worldlink, a full-service media bridge connecting world-class customer service to the sports (leagues, conferences, teams and networks), entertainment and news industries worldwide.
Beginning in 2017, each and every USL regular-season and postseason game, pre- and post-game coverage, features and ancillary programming will be produced, digitized and distributed by USL Productions for use by league teams as well as local, regional, national and international linear and digital partners.
The USL’s long-time Executive Media Consultant Michael Cohen will serve as Executive Producer of USL Productions. Cohen is a 15-time Emmy Award nominee, and eight-time Emmy Award winner who brings deep broadcasting and content experience including the start-up of Major League Soccer/Soccer United Marketing’s broadcasting department, nine Olympic Games and three FIFA World Cups.
The 2016 USL regular season schedule closes on September 25 with eight teams from both the league’s Eastern and Western Conferences qualifying for postseason play. The 2016 USL Playoffs kick off with a quarterfinal round scheduled for the weekend of September 30-October 2. The complete playoff schedule will be announced once teams have secured postseason positions.