The 26th MLS Cup final is in Portland this weekend as the Timbers take on New York City FC. While the game will be nationally televised on ABC (English) and UniMás (Spanish), the game will also be heard on ESPN Radio.
Initially, it appeared that local radio broadcasters wouldn’t be able to air the game in English but it seems cooler heads have prevailed and according to New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, the game will be allowed to air local English language broadcasts in the Portland and New York City markets.
ESPN and MLS is now going to allow local English language of the MLS Cup. https://t.co/zJRzYTfZkx
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) December 8, 2021
On Tuesday, Oregonian columnist John Canzano revealed that neither Portland or NYCFC would be able to have an English language radio broadcast for Saturday’s game, something that both teams apparently weren’t thrilled about. It would’ve been the first time in MLS Cup history that this would happen and both teams raised an issue to no avail at first. After a little over a day, it was decided to allow local broadcasts after all.
This might not sound like a big deal but it probably is to Timbers and NYCFC fans in their local market. Especially for the team who wins, it would be nice to hear the winning call. In addition, if people are creatures of habit and are used to listening to the game on one station, some people might not get the message to switch to their ESPN Radio affiliate for the game.
The Timbers have already announced their broadcast and play-by-play commentator Jake Zivin showed his appreciation that everyone was able to work things out for the greater good.
I'm selfishly thankful for those (on all sides) that worked this out behind the scenes. And I feel extremely lucky to be able to call what will be – regardless of result – one of the most special days in the sporting history of this city, and I think in @MLS history, as well. https://t.co/0WlvAl2JU2
— Jake Zivin (@JakeZivin) December 8, 2021
Correction: The game will be broadcast over the radio on SiriusXM FC and not on ESPN Radio, in addition to the local broadcasts in Portland and New York City.