The LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers kick off at 11:30am on Sunday, the last of the NBC Sports MLS broadcast to have EPL as a lead in and it's a doozy. The Championship will be decided on either NBC or NBC Sports, and after the recap shows MLS gets to show off two of its bigger name sides. If there was ever a chance for NBC Sports to set an MLS ratings record, this is it.
NBC Sports is making a hereto unprecedented move, broadcasting all ten matches of the English Premier League's last day across their family of networks. The current league leaders Manchester City will kick off on NBC with the possible usurpers Liverpool on NBC Sports. All matches will kick-off at 7:00am Sunday, with a two-hour episode of Goal Zone and then a half-hour Premier League Live special to follow wrapping up the entire season.
The LA Galaxy at Portland Timbers match will kick-off directly after the Premier League Live special, and the match has been the subject of promos on NBC Sports all week. With this also being Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez' send off match, expect the upcoming World Cup to be a large part of the story as well as Donovan's hunt for the elusive goal 135.
"This is just about as good a matchup as you could hope to not only come out of Premier League ‘Championship Sunday,' but also to lead into the World Cup break," said lead commentator John Strong.
The Timbers aren't the team they were last season at the moment, but the 4-4 thriller between them and the Seattle Sounders set NBC Sports' ratings high mark thus far this year. Newcomer Gaston Fernandez currently leads the Timbers with four goals.
The three Frendlies the United States is hosting going into the World Cup will be broadcast on ESPN2, ahead of ESPN's coverage of the World Cup. Still, NBC Sports will certainly hope to siphon off a ratings boost from all the USMNT action.