With AppleTV effectively taking over the core broadcasts across MLS, that leaves individual teams more limited space to offer their own product. The Seattle Sounders will be doing more than most, it appears.
On Thursday, they gave a fuller picture of what that will look like. In addition maintaining a full radio presence on Sports Radio KJR. Most matches will be on 950 KJR AM and iHeart Radio. The Sounders are also expanding some of their shoulder programming on Fox13 with many of the same personalities who have been part of their coverage for several years.
The most visible localized touch point will be the radio broadcast — which will be available as an alternate audio channel through MLS Season Pass for home games — and will feature Danny Jackson on play-by-play with Steve Zakuani as the color commentator. Michelle Ludtka will also provide sideline coverage for the radio broadcast, while Brad Evans and a host of others will join the booth on a regular basis.
Keith Costigan, who had been the Sounders TV play-by-play announcer since 2016, will likely still call some Sounders games in his new role with MLS Season Pass. Kasey Keller, who continues to work full-time for ESPN, will not be part of the broadcast team for the first time since 2012.
Both Jackson and Zakuani played for the Sounders and have been part of the extended broadcast team for several years. Jackson played for the Sounders from 2003-08 and has been part of the radio broadcast team since 2016. This will be his first extended stint on play-by-play. Zakuani, who was the No. 1 overall pick by the Sounders in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, has been part of the TV broadcast team since 2016. Evans and Zakuani will also continue to co-host their podcast Side x Side.
Rounding out the radio broadcast will be pregame, halftime and postgame coverage that be hosted by Jackson Felts and feature analysts Pete Fewing and Diego Arrioja. They will be supplemented Marcus Hahnemann, Lamar Neagle and James Riley.
KJR FM will continue to host Sounders Weekly, while head coach Brian Schmetzer will keep his weekly segment with Dave “Softy” Mahler and Dick Fain on Tuesdays.
On the TV side, Fox13 will actually expand its coverage outside of live match coverage. The Sounders FC Weekly Wrap show will still be part of Seattle Sports Live, there will again be three in-season specials and there will be added pre- and postgame coverage for the three Sounders matches scheduled to air on Fox (March 18, April 1 and May 7). Fox13 is also committed to providing enhanced coverage of other big Sounders events such as the doubleheader with OL Reign and the March to the 50th campaign. Fox13 has also agreed to air a 30-minute monthly program called Scarves Up that will be produced by the team and focus more on off-field aspects.
Finally, the Sounders will maintain robust Spanish-language coverage on both radio and TV. Full gameday radio coverage will continue to air on El Rey 1360 AM, while local Univision affiliate KUNS will launch a 15th season of magazine-style show Sounders FC En Accion.