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ESPN Reaches 3-Year Agreement for EPL Coverage On TV, Web and Mobile

espn2 logo ESPN Reaches 3 Year Agreement for EPL Coverage On TV, Web and Mobile

ESPN has officially confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Fox Sports International to license a selection of Premier League games on US television and multimedia for the next three seasons (2010-11 through 2012-13). The three-year sublicense includes up to 74 live matches each season on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.

The new agreement will allow ESPN to broadcast more than 220 live matches in three seasons, most of which will be available in high definition. The timeslots that ESPN2 have taken are Saturday mornings at 7:30am ET (10am when there are no early kick-offs) and weekday afternoons (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday) at 2:45pm ET.

For the first time, Premier League matches will be featured regularly on ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV and on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language US sports network. Last season ESPN2 televised some 46 Premier League matches.

View the latest schedule of all Premier League matches on US TV.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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51 Responses to ESPN Reaches 3-Year Agreement for EPL Coverage On TV, Web and Mobile

  1. victor says:

    thank you ESPN & Gaffer.

  2. Robert says:

    So how many games per week wont be shown live on TV?

    Also people in England must be ticked how many game per week we can see on live TV.. let alone HD TV.

    • Peter J says:

      I don’t think the English people are too concerned about the amount of live matches that can be watched in the US. You have to remember that England is not a large country and most matches are within a few hours driving time for most people. It’s somewhat similar to the game blackouts in this country as the franchises want live bodies to fill their seats.

  3. sam says:

    That’s actually kind of disappointing. I was hoping ESPN would be able to pick the best matchup of the week and broadcast it. Those 7:30AM games are usually crap.

    • Panda says:

      Yes, usually…but it all evened out. Remember at the end of last season? Every early game was the match of the week.

  4. jose says:

    gaffer thanks for updating me on fox deportes, but is espn deportes going to be hd in the future. i rather see the games in english and hd but if you have the optimo mas package which is cheaper then the english you get espn deportes and fox deportes to watch the epl but not in hd.

  5. dlink09 says:

    good news, but 7.30 games in HD?

  6. Matt says:

    now if only fox could take a cue from espn3.com………

    • Gaz Hunt says:

      Yeah, the foxsoccer.tv site is terrible.

      I watched the first half of the England game live this afternoon and turned it off to watch the second half later only to find that the game was only available live.

      No mention of this on the site. No note next to the game listing. Nothing. Terrible, terrible.

      Not to mention the crappy layout and other negatives.

  7. Kobashi says:

    It’s a shame that ESPN didn’t go after one of the 10am broadcasts. It would have been a lot better for the growth of the game if ESPN aired more Premier League games instead of FSC because for Joe Sports Fan FSC is an afterthought when they are flicking channels while ESPN 2 is in most Sport Fans rotation. Why couldn’t ESPN 2, FSC, and FS+ have rotated the 10am 1st choice game where every 3 weeks each network would have had a 1st choice game?

    I won’t be missing out on anything since I have all 3 channels through Brighthouse even though my cable operator has no plans as of yet to add the regular FSC in HD at this point.

    • mws192 says:

      In a nutshell, ESPN2 already has commitments related to college football programming on Saturday mornings. A 10am EPL game may eat into the early game CFB coverage.

      • Kobashi says:

        The 10am game is done by 11:55am which gives ESPN 2 enough time to run a commercial break and throw it to the College Football game at noon. No College Football Games in America that air on TV start before noon Eastern. There is only 1 or maybe 2 Saturdays where a PL game that normally starts at 10am starts at 11am because the difference in when the US and UK start daylight savings. ESPN 2 normally runs hunting/fishing/outdoor programming from 10am to noon on Saturday’s currently and for as long as I can remember. Though this Saturday they air the Senior League Softball Final from Sussex Delaware!

        Would ESPN really be worried that a Premier League game would cannibalize their viewership for College Football Gameday w/Fowler, Corso, Herbie, and Desmond?

  8. Kevin says:

    Great to hear that they have rights to midweek matches beyond the Monday matches.

  9. Fee says:

    “and weekday afternoons (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday) at 2:45pm ET” Did I miss something? Are the Premier League starting to play games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays now? I’d say that ESPN just got screwed!!

    But I do like that they are picking up more games and allow the casual (insanely early rising on the weekends especially on the west coast) sports fan to tune in.

    • Matt says:

      You start to see the midweek games more frequently in the middle of the season when league matches get pushed around to accommodate cup ties. There are normally some that are just scheduled for midweek as well. This is, in my opinion, a huge blow to FS+. Who in their right mind would pay $15 a month for only 2 extra games a week (10am ET saturdays and the early morning sunday match)? Fox needs to cut the crap and get FS+ added to the same package as FSC. They could even add 2 more hours of infomercials than FSC has now, just get it done. Otherwise i am just going to keep watching it illegally through my high-speed internet connection…

      • Yespage says:

        Well, I think the answer would be that people would be getting FS+ for more than just the EPL, because otherwise FS+ is a bit underwhelming. Ligue 1 may help fill the gap a bit. Also FS+ doesn’t have informercials.

        • Dan Fin says:

          Agreed. Remember the “+” in FS+ indicates more than soccer. FS+ has been very heavy with rugby programming and they have the English and Celtic leagues starting up the first week of September that they will be carrying as well.

          And if the next few weeks of programming that they have released is any indication Ligue 1 matches will (at least initially) be relegated to one match a week on Sundays.

          With EPL, nPower Championship, Serie A, Ligue 1, rugby, etc. that is a lot to be squeezed into one network on a weekend.

  10. Greg says:

    Has anyone figured out whether this is an improvement over the number of matches ESPN covered last year in the US? It seems like this is mostly a continuation of what they’re already doing, which is great. Just wanted to know if they are increasing their broadcasts.

    • Robert says:

      . The three-year sublicense includes up to 74 live matches each season on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.

      Last season ESPN2 televised some 46 Premier League matches.

      • Greg says:

        Cool, thanks. That’s a solid improvement. Love DVR-ing those Saturday morning/Monday afternoon games and getting to watch some matches in HD.

  11. jason says:

    If it true and it sounds like it, all of the espn EPL games will be on espn3.com now. I was considering buying foxsoccer.tv this year (i dont have cable tv), i think that is out the winodow now if there are epl games on espn3. one or two full games a week (with a german or italian thrown in the mix) is good enough for me, along with Match of the Day highligts from footytube.

  12. MarkB says:

    Gaffer, on the tv schedule you have Liverpool v West Brom as being on Sat. 8/28 but according to the league website the match is taking place on Sun. 8/29.

  13. UpTheBlues says:

    Yes! Excellent news!

  14. TGov says:

    This is good news, and FYI FSC went HD today on DirecTV! Bring on the weekend!!!

  15. eplnfl says:

    Really a great day for soccer fans in the US. ESPN should be able to give the EPL the same treatment it did to the World cup to the delight of all US soccer fans. With the news of the new FSC programming US/EPL fans are getting great treatment.

    Any word on the feeds that ESPN will use. Last year the ESPN/Sky feed for week day games was much better than the international feed. Hopefully we will get a ESPN production of the game. ESPN3 is more than a bonus it’s a whole new world for fans and hopefully will include an on-demand replay feature.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Today has got to be one of the best days ever for followers of the Premier League in the United States. FSCHD on DirecTV. ESPN announcing more coverage. EPL games coming to ESPN3.com, etc. Very historic day.

      No idea regarding feeds right now.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Guitarearl says:

        I think this is the takeaway. Voices are being heard. The US audience is growing. I think soccer has always had the potential to be a significant sport in this country. The toughest part is that the networks like FSC, Gol, and FS+ are all in packages that aren’t always on the casual fan’s radar. If FOX could concede a movement of FSC out of premium sports packages into a more widely accessed programming slot, it would only serve to help the sport IMO.

      • Peter J says:

        Good news indeed, ta mate.

  16. eplnfl says:

    Interesting that the deal is concluded as Disney/ESPN announces a large profit from their World Cup coverage. It was noted that the profit was not just from the tv end of the business but a good amount of cash came from mobile sources and items like iphone apps. Who knows what ESPN will have in phone with their mobile rights.

  17. 11hitcombo says:

    That is fantastic news. I won’t miss a game this season because I have all the ESPN channels, FSC and FS+ in HD through Brighthouse. Wonderful. Finally some decent soccer coverage in the US. Praise (insert mythical omnipotent presence).

  18. Davis Hirsch says:

    Great news…I’m not leaving my couch this weekend. Kickoff Saturday morning with Spurs-Citeh!

  19. Greg says:

    As Max Bretos would say, “YYYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!”

  20. Casey G. says:

    the less games on the Fox Soccer channels THE BETTER.

  21. fanintheUS says:

    I really enjoyed watching the world cup on espn3 now the epl? Greatest news ever… Though the epl should have had a direct contract with espn3 so that we get more games. It is a good start though

    found this on http://soccer.mynucleus.org

  22. kobash says:

    If ESPN 2 showed 46 games last season with relatively the same package as they got this year how are they going to show up to 74 games?

    • CTBlues says:

      I am a bit confused about that as well. The only thing I can think of is they are going let them have more of the 10am games when there isn’t a 7:30 game or there are going to be more weekday night games.

      • Kobashi says:

        The total of 46 games that ESPN aired last year included the Saturday 10am games they aired when there was no 7:30am game offered.

        How it looks to me is that FSC/FS+ have said they are going to air 304 of the 380 games played in a season. ESPN is ballyhooing that they have the rights to air 76 games which when you add them to what FSC/FS+ are airing comes out to 380 games. I could see FSC/FS+ releasing games of not much interest to ESPN to get them up to that 76 games number and those games will feature on ESPN3 which ESPN is really pushing hard. That would likely be 4th and 5th choice 10am games.

    • Jay A. says:

      This is from the ESPN press release:
      “- Select midweek matches will be available exclusively on ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Mobile TV.”

      Being that ESPN have rights to the weekday afternoon 2:45 p.m. ET matches, could this mean that they have the rights to ALL weekday 2:45 pm ET matches, even when there are multiple matches at that time? According to ESPNsoccernet website, on Tuesday Nov.9 there are three matches at 2:45pm. On Nov.10 there are four matches at 2:45pm. Maybe it’s these type scenarios throughout the season that bring their total to 74 matches.

      • Dan Fin says:

        According to the press release from Fox yesterday (8/11), they will be airing Tuesday and Wednesday midweek matches:

        Barclays Premier League matches will typically air in the following windows throughout the season:
        • Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel (both live)
        • Saturdays at 9:55 a.m. (live) and 2 p.m. ET (premiere) on Fox Soccer Plus
        • Sundays at 8:30 a.m. ET on Fox Soccer Plus (live)
        • Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel (live)
        • Tuesdays and Wednesdays during regularly-scheduled midweek rounds on both Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus (live and premiere)

        Full article is here: http://www.newsonnews.net/fox/4059-fox-soccer-channel-gears-up-for-barclays-premier-league-openers.html

  23. live matches says:

    live studio discussing the day’s play as it’s being played while also showing audio coverage clips of a large number of matches

  24. dlink09 says:

    EPL deal is mentioned on ESPN2 in there sportcenter plugins

  25. justin says:

    i get espn deportes w my latin package but no espn2. the Man u newcastle game is listed on espn2 but not deportes on espn’s site. is that a mistake or are some games not shown on deportes? does another spanish language channel have the american epl rights?

  26. maw4bc says:

    Why is it showing “To Be Announced” on Diretv in the early sat time slot? This is annoying cause it wont record if they change it

  27. justin says:

    looks like espn deportes does get them all its just not up to date on the espn tv guide on their site. fantastic! for all u bargain hunters skip the extended cable ( espn cnn tbs tnt fox news comedy central e! fx ect….). i just get basic cable plus latin pack (espn deportes and gol tv) and sports pack (fsc). tons of soccer for $35 a month. thanks for the great tv listings gaffer! also a great bargain…..chicharito to win golden boot at 38-1. lay ur money now. that kids gonna relegate ronney to the bench by week 4. ive never seen such a nose for the back of the onion bag and ferguie loves him!

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