The most anticipated match of the 2011-12 Premier League season featuring Manchester City against Manchester United has been moved on television in the United States from ESPN2 to ESPN.
Moving the Manchester derby, in a match which may decide who will go on to win the title, is a fantastic decision by ESPN to try to hit a ratings bonanza for a league which continues to become more and more popular in the United States.
Coverage of Manchester City against Manchester United will now be shown on Monday, April 30 beginning at 2:30pm ET on ESPN, with the match scheduled to kick off at 3pm ET. This will be the first time that a weekday Premier League match has been shown live on ESPN, according to the Worldwide Leader In Sports.
“Given the magnitude of this match, we wanted to take advantage of the live SportsCenter lead-in to incorporate our on-site resources in previewing what will be the biggest match of the season in the Barclays Premier League,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.
In addition, ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language coverage of the match will include a 30-minute special edition of Los Capitanes, the commentary program hosted by José Ramón Fernández and other legendary sports journalists, as they discuss and debate the latest sports news, information and issues. ESPN3, the live multi-screen sports network, will carry the live presentation of the match in both English and Spanish.
For the English-language feed of the game, Ian Darke and Steve McManaman will be the commentators.
In December 2010, 570,000 people watched the live match on ESPN2 between Manchester United and Arsenal. Both ESPN and ESPN2 have 100 million subscribers each. I’m sure ESPN will be hoping that it can break its record for the most number of viewers for a live Premier League match.
What’s your opinion about ESPN moving the game from ESPN2 to ESPN? Will you plan on calling in sick from work, or taking an extended lunch break in order to watch the game live? Or watching it from your office desk on ESPN3.com or via the WatchESPN app for mobile devices? Anyone planning on going to see the game in a pub? Share your feedback in the comments section below.