Thursday, March 10, 2011

Luke Wileman and Jason de Vos join MLS on TSN broadcast team

TSN welcomes two of the country's most knowledgeable soccer experts to the network, with veteran play-by-play commentator Luke Wileman and colour analyst Jason de Vos joining the MLS on TSN broadcast team.

Wileman and de Vos will lead the majority of TSN's live MLS coverage and will be in the broadcast booth when the network kicks off its inaugural season as the official broadcaster of MLS in Canada. Coverage begins with the first-ever all-Canadian match in MLS history, featuring Toronto FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, March 19, at 3 p.m. PT on TSN.

Both Wileman and de Vos boast impressive soccer credentials: Wileman is a 15-year broadcasting veteran, having done play-by-play commentary for English Premier League games on the BBC in Europe and Toronto FC games on GOLTV in Canada, while de Vos is one of the country's most accomplished professional soccer players following successful stints in the Scottish Premier League and the English League Championship, and with Canada's national soccer team. de Vos also covered major international soccer events for the CBC and GOLTV Canada.

"Luke and Jason have their fingers on the pulse of the soccer world and their dedication to the sport will translate into an authentic soccer experience for fans watching at home," said Mark Milliere, Senior Vice-President, Production, TSN. "With MLS more popular in Canada than ever before, we're thrilled that Luke and Jason are bringing their first-hand soccer experience and knowledge to the TSN broadcast team."

Leading up to TSN's first match of the 2011 MLS season, the network will feature a pre-game show live from Empire Field in Vancouver, BC. TSN's Perry Solkowski will host the 30-minute program alongside Wileman and de Vos, as they tee up the MLS's first-ever all-Canadian game, take a look Vancouver's return to the North American top flight, and preview the 2011 MLS regular season. The show also includes a feature on Whitecaps FC captain Jay DeMerit and appearances by special guests.

In total, TSN and TSN2 will broadcast 24 MLS regular season matches this year featuring Toronto FC and/or Vancouver Whitecaps FC, plus an additional 25 games showcasing non-Canadian clubs. In future seasons, the networks will broadcast at least 30 games with the three Canadian teams – including the 2012 MLS expansion team Montreal Impact – along with other games featuring non-Canadian clubs. TSN is also the official Canadian broadcaster of the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup playoff games and the highly-anticipated MLS Cup.

TSN's national broadcast agreement with MLS begins this year and runs through the 2016 season.

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