LAFC, FIFA World Cup Gain Spanish Language Broadcasts In the U.S.

What: The newest MLS team, Los Angeles Football Club, and FIFA World Cup have announced their respective Spanish language U.S. broadcast partners.
Why it matters: Whether an established international tournament or a team competing in its first handful of games in its inaugural season, soccer broadcasts in Spanish are critical in reaching this huge audience.

The launch of MLS's latest franchise, Los Angeles Football Club (@LAFC), is off to a rousing start, with the new squad quickly developing a supporters group—seven busloads strong for a battle with "crosstown" rivals LA Galaxy in Carson, Calif. Starting next week, Spanish speaking LAFC fans can tune in to the first of 18 matches on UniMás () KFTR Channel 46, as the team announced that Univision Los Angeles will be its Official Spanish-Language TV partner this year.

“We are committed to making our matches accessible to everyone throughout Los Angeles,” LAFC Owner and President Tom Penn said in a statement. “It is an honor to partner with Univision Los Angeles - a trusted and respected broadcast leader that ensures award-winning, comprehensive content and coverage of our Club.”

We're excited to be part of the World Cup event and our ability to provide extensive coverage to our local communities through our radio stations.

This comes on the heels of news that Hispanic fans who want to follow this summer's FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupon radio will have a new option: Entravision (@EVCMedia), which will broadcast 53 of the 64 total matches (including al three for Mexico in Group F) on its stations in 16 markets, beginning with the opening ceremony and group play on June 14. With Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Colombia joining Spain and Portugal in the field, there will be plenty of interest among the Latin American fan base, particularly in markets like Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, El Paso, Albuquerque and Las Vegas, whose affiliates will air the games.

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"Latinos live and breathe soccer and it is by far the number one sport among our listeners," said Jeffery A. Liberman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Entravision, in a statement. "We're excited to be part of the World Cup event and our ability to provide extensive coverage to our local communities through our radio stations. This global soccer tournament is one of the most recognized sporting events in the world and provides advertisers with a premier opportunity to connect with our audience."

No word yet on which advertising partners are on board for either entity, but with UniMás KFTR 46 ranking among the top stations in L.A., regardless of language, in key demographics, opportunities abound for marketers to catch on to the early success of LAFC and its newly formed fan base. And World Cup retains a huge appeal, even without the U.S. National Team, which failed to qualify.

Check out the stars of Portada's Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

Cover image courtesy LAFC

Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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