There is a growing divide among MLS owners in how to further grow the league in the future. MLS has focused on sustainability with its salary cap and Designated Player rule. The league will expand to 24 teams by 2019.
But there are a contingent of owners getting restless with the slow approach.
“The tipping point is here,” said D.C. United co-Chairman Stephen Kaplan. “We need to take this forward.”
Tenorio signals 2022 as an important year with the expiration of the league's $90 million per year TV deal with ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision. A new contract will significantly impact the growth of MLS.
“The league’s got to develop the value it’s getting from broadcast rights,” Kaplan stated. “That 2022 contract, whoever it is with, or if it’s multiple parties, network versus over-the-top, is the single most important deal the league will make. I think it should be a historic deal that catapults the league. Broadcast deals changed the trajectory of the NBA. … Driving our league-wide revenue will put us in a position to compete with the rest of the world.”