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National TV to focus on Beckham and Galaxy

February 07, 2007|Larry Stewart

Last season, the Galaxy was the defending Major League Soccer champion and made 17 national television appearances -- six on ESPN2, nine on HDNet, the digital cable high-definition network, and two on Fox cable.

This season, despite failing to make the 2006 playoffs, the team will have 26 of its 30 games broadcast nationally, according to the 113-game television schedule MLS released Tuesday.

One reason for the increased exposure comes down to one man: David Beckman. The former England captain, who signed a five-year deal with the Galaxy last month, is expected to join the team in July and viewers may see him a lot. Sixteen of the team's final 17 games will be broadcast nationally.

Another reason is the league's new television contract, which includes two new partners. One is Spanish-language Univision, which will broadcast games on its over-the-air network, Telefutura (Channel 46 in L.A.), and its cable and satellite network, Galavision. The second is Fox cable, which will broadcast games on the Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol.

The Galaxy will appear on ESPN2 six times, HDNet eight times, Telefutura and Galavision seven times and on the Fox Soccer Channel five times.

L.A.'s other MLS team, Chivas USA, will make 19 national appearances -- six on ESPN2, five on the Fox networks, four on Telefutura and four on HDNet.

FSN West and Prime Ticket will announce their local Galaxy and Chivas schedules later.

-- Larry Stewart

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