The prolonged negotiations between Fox Sports International and ESPN over the sublicensing of Premier League TV rights for United States television appear to be over, at least for the opening weekend of the 2010-11 EPL season. ESPN presenter Max Bretos has announced that ESPN will show the Premier League games this weekend between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City (Saturday, 7:30am ET) and Manchester United versus Newcastle United (Monday, 2:45pm ET).
“[I am] thrilled I will be anchoring the ESPN studio coverage of the opening weekend of the EPL,” said Bretos on Twitter. “Check me out Saturday morning and Monday afternoon.”
The news regarding Fox and ESPN coming to an agreement over TV rights for the 2010-11 Premier League season will come as welcome relief to soccer fans in the United States. Whether the agreement is a temporary solution or a permanent one, we’ll have to wait and see. The prolonged negotiations between both companies threatened to disrupt the opening weekend of the EPL season. However, with just days to go before the opening match kicks off, it appears an agreement has been reached. As of press time, EPL Talk has a message in to ESPN to request a statement regarding the news, as well as to learn more details about the deal.
In addition to the opening game of the 2010-11 Premier League season featuring Spurs against Man City being on ESPN2, the game will be broadcast online on ESPN3.com.
A statement from Fox Sports International late on Tuesday said that they were “working to finalize details of a sub-license for distribution of additional matches.”
Also on Tuesday, Fox Soccer Channel announced that they’ll be broadcasting up to 304 matches during the 2010-11 Premier League season across Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus and FoxSoccer.tv. For the first time ever, all Premier League matches on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus will be available in high-definition.
View the most updated schedule for Premier League games shown on US television.
Soccer fans will be glad to hear that more good news was announced Tuesday:
DirecTV Confirms Launch of Fox Soccer Channel HD
More good news for followers of the Premier League in the United States was announced Tuesday when DirecTV confirmed a story that was first reported by EPL Talk on July 27. The news is that DirecTV will launch Fox Soccer Channel HD on Wednesday, August 11. It’ll mean that DirecTV will be broadcasting several soccer networks in HD including Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus and GolTV.
DirecTV to Show Every Game of the 2010-11 Champions League Season
Also DirecTV announced Tuesday that they will be showing every single game of the 2010-11 Champions League from the playoff round on August 17 to the final game in May. The games will be shown across Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Networks, Fox Deportes and DirecTV’s own channels.
UEFA Europa League coverage with broadcasting partner GolTV will start with the group stage on Sept. 16 and continue through DIRECTV’s exclusive 153-match coverage through to the final on May 18, 2011.
Fans will be able to watch up to eight games from UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League simultaneously on DIRECTV’s exclusive Soccer Mix Channel, in both HD and standard-definition.
Exclusive La Liga Coverage On DirecTV
In addition to the Premier League and Champions League coverage, DirecTV announced that it will broadcast at least 114 exclusive La Liga matches during the upcoming season which begins August 28. A minimum of three La Liga games will be shown each round only on DirecTV in addition to those La Liga matches broadcast by GolTV and ESPN.