With the new season of La Liga scheduled to begin at the end of August, there are only weeks to go before we’ll get to experience La Liga matches on ESPN.
As the weeks go by, more details are being released about ESPN’s coverage of the league, which they’ve sub-licensed from GolTV. Both networks will alternate coverage of La Liga. One weekend will be on GolTV. The next weekend will be on ESPN, and so on.
Here are more specifics courtesy of ESPN:
- At least 114 matches per season will be available online on ESPN360
- The two El Classic matchups between Barcelona and Real Madrid, likely will be simulcast by GolTV and ESPN
- Last season, Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Real Madrid on Dec. 13 was seen by 258,000 Hispanic television households in the U.S.
- Barca’s 6-2 rout on May 2, 2009 was watched by 189,000 according to GolTV.
The 258,000 households who watched el Classico last December is very impressive when compared against the ratings that Fox Soccer Channel has received for the Premier League during the 2008-2009 season. With the wider availability of La Liga on ESPN during the 2009-2010 season, we can expect to see el Classico to pull in more viewers than the top Premier League match. However, the Premier League is much more than el Classico, and where ESPN (and GolTV) will need to improve is in the TV ratings for the lesser-known Spanish club teams.