We understand that ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel are still feverishly working on concluding the contract so that the early Saturday morning and Monday afternoon ET Premier League games will be available on ESPN2. However, no agreement has been completed as of writing, and we’re now less than 24 hours away from the kickoff of the 2009/2010 Premier League season.
We’re still very hopeful that an agreement can be made in time, so that ESPN2 can carry the game, but the closer it gets to the kickoff time without the paperwork signed, the more nervous soccer fans become. There is the possibility that Fox Soccer Channel would still show the game either on television or online at FoxSoccer.tv since they still technically own the rights (until the agreement for sub-licensing the broadcasting of the game to ESPN is concluded).
Of course, this game takes on even more importance for most Americans because it may feature the debut of Jozy Altidore up front for Hull City.
But if Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN are unable to conclude an agreement in time and if Fox decides not to show the game on television or online, here’s our guide of five ways you can either watch or listen to the opening game of the Premier League season between Chelsea and Hull City:
- Sirius Satellite. The Chelsea against Hull City match will be available to all Sirius radio customers on channel 125. If you’re not a Sirius Satellite Radio customer, they do offer a free trial of their product online, but unfortunately channel 125 isn’t one of the stations available.
- Hull City Player. You can subscribe to Hull City’s audio commentary of the game from its website for as little as £3.99. ‘Player’ was formerly known as ‘World’ and now works on both a Mac and PC. Chelsea FC may have their own commentary available, but you’ll have to check back here. Right now, it still says ‘Coming Soon.’
- BBC London 94.9. BBC’s local London radio station streams live on the Internet and often features live commentary from matches as well as match reports from around the grounds. There’s no guarantee they’ll be broadcasting the Chelsea match (they always broadcast from a match featuring a team from London; the times when I’ve listened, it’s been either Tottenham Hotspur or Crystal Palace). Plus, their sports program doesn’t begin until 9am ET, but at least you may be able to catch the second half of the game from its stream.
- Justin.tv. We hate to recommend this one because any streaming video of the match online would be illegal, but unless Fox or ESPN show the game, this will be one of the few sources where football fans can watch the game online.
- Ustream. Similar to Justin.tv, Ustream will carry streaming video of the match. Note however that Ustream videos are illegal. We hate to recommend illegal avenues, but if that’s the only way we can be able to watch the match live, what else are football supporters supposed to do?
It’s been many many years since the opening game of the Premier League season has not been shown live on television, so let’s hope ESPN and Fox can conclude the deal as quickly as possible or enable a contingency plan.
For more ways to follow Premier League games such as minute-by-minute text commentary, sporadic match commentaries from The Sun newspaper and other audio available from around the world, read EPL Talk’s Comprehensive Guide To Following Premier League Matches Online article.
If you know of any other sources how football supporters can watch or listen to the Chelsea agsinst Hull City season opener, please post them below.
In the meantime, be sure to check back on EPL Talk throughout the day for late breaking news. And be sure to follow EPL Talk on Twitter for updates.
Photo credit: Blue Beany.
UPDATE: ESPN has confirmed that it WILL be showing Premier League early Saturday morning kickoff after all between Chelsea or Hull, so forget all of the five tips above and go with the real deal. More details here.