Fox in Negotiations to Sublicense EPL TV Rights in U.S. to ESPN

According to sources, ESPN and Fox Sports International are currently in negotiations for FSI to sublicense some of the Barclays Premier League TV rights in the U.S. through 2013 to ESPN.

However, a deal has not yet been signed. And soccer fans in the United States will have to wait until an agreement is reached before they know which games will be televised on which TV networks.

Soccer fans in the United States are used to waiting. While there are still 25 days to go until the 2010-11 Premier League season begins, many soccer fans will remember the last minute deal that was made by Fox and ESPN the night before the 2009-10 season kicked off so that ESPN2 could show the season opener between Chelsea and Hull City.

According to sources, it is understood that ESPN is looking for expanded rights in the U.S. that will allow the company to feature the matches on more platforms than in its previous 2009-2010 season agreement. That agreement only allowed ESPN to televise the matches on ESPN2. For the 2010-13 seasons, it’s likely that the games will also be available on ESPN3.com in addition to ESPN2.

The sources added that the time slot ESPN and FSI are negotiating is the early Saturday morning kick-off (and 10am, when there are no 7:45am matches). Some midweek matches may also be included.

The season opener for the 2010-11 Premier League season is Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City on Saturday, August 14th at 7:45am. While a deal between ESPN and Fox has not yet been finalized, here is the tentative Premier League TV schedule for viewers in the United States.

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