Keeping track of all of the ways that soccer fans in the United States can watch the sport on television suddenly got very confusing in the past week with the addition of ESPN2 to the Premier League TV rights package, as well as the glittering array of Champions League matches being shown across Fox’s TV networks nationwide.
As each day passes, we’re learning more about the coverage and all of the little details that are incredibly important to soccer fans. Two of the biggest questions that EPL Talk receive are about the EPL on ESPN 360 and HD on GolTV.
Here are the answers, as well as additional news and analysis about ESPN:
Is the EPL Coming To ESPN 360?
Unfortunately, we don’t have good news to report. An ESPN spokesperson has confirmed that no Premier League games will be shown on ESPN360 this season, which is discouraging news for soccer fans in the United States who would prefer to watch the Saturday morning and Monday afternoon games online instead of on a television set.
Presumably the broadband rights for those two timeslots have gone back to Fox Soccer Channel. However, the recently relaunched FoxSoccer.tv site currently doesn’t have the games that are being aired on ESPN2.
When is HD Coming To GolTV?
According to a spokesperson from GolTV, the Miami-based TV network are currently investing in the technology to get upgraded for HD delivery, which should happen sometime in 2010.
All Eyes Will Be On ESPN2 This Weekend
Probably the best thing that ESPN could have wished for was Burnley to upset Manchester United so as to make United’s game against Wigan this Saturday even more crucial.
And that’s exactly what happened.
It’s not unusual for Manchester United to have a slow start to the season, but on one would have expected Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to slip up against Burnley on Wednesday night in a shock 1-0 defeat. With two lackluster displays in a row, the pressure will be on Man United more than usual this Saturday when they play Wigan Athletic in a game which will be televised live by ESPN2 at 10am ET in HD.
Manchester United will not only be the center of attention Saturday. Wigan Athletic will be a difficult team for United to break down and will be pushed to their limits at times. It’ll be interesting to see how Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will tactically line up against United. Without a doubt, it’ll be a massive test of his abilities to try to outthink Ferguson.
Lots of attention will be focused, too, on ESPN2 — what will their half-time analysis be like, will they run scores from other Premier League games across the ticker during the game (hopefully not), how will their pre-game analysis differ from last week, and more. The game will certainly be intriguing to watch for several reasons.
And don’t forget about Monday’s game between Liverpool and Aston Villa, also on ESPN2 (3pm ET).