ESPN to Launch Daily Soccer Show ‘ESPN FC’ On ESPN2 in August

ESPN is launching its own daily 30-minute news and highlights soccer show beginning August 11 entitled ESPN FC. The program will air Sunday through Friday, primarily on ESPN2, beginning August 11.

“Soccer’s popularity is at an all-time high in the United States as fans are now more familiar with the world’s top players, marquee clubs and national teams,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president for programming.

ESPN plans to cover news and highlights focusing primarily on the Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Spain’s La Liga, Major League Soccer, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and the Mexican National Team.

“It will become ESPN’s signature program for soccer,” said Guglielmino.

Sunday editions of ESPN FC will be a one-hour program – wrapping up the best highlights from the weekend’s soccer action while looking ahead to what the results mean to the teams and their respective leagues.  Monday through Friday, the program will air for 30 minutes each day.  ESPN FC on TV will replace the ESPN FC Press Pass, the global soccer discussion program on ESPNEWS, in the United States.

This is a huge boost for soccer coverage in the United States. With ESPN losing the Premier League rights for 2013-16, the decision to air a daily TV program focused on soccer will ensure that ESPN continues to be seen as a go-to source for soccer news instead of, for EPL viewers in the United States, practically disappearing off the radar.

The big question is what time slot the ESPN FC program will have on TV, since that’ll have a impact on the success of the show. According to an ESPN spokeperson, the timeslot is “to be announced.”

35 thoughts on “ESPN to Launch Daily Soccer Show ‘ESPN FC’ On ESPN2 in August”

    1. Either later today, tomorrow or Thursday. It all depends on the result of the Arsenal-Wigan game since ESPN2 gets first pick.

      The Gaffer

      1. If Wigan were relegated on Tuesday (with loss or draw due to goal difference), then the picks will be obvious:

        ESPN2 & ESPN Deportes – Newcastle v Arsenal

        FOX Soccer & FOX Deportes – Tottenham v Sunderland

        Chelsea vs Everton will still show up somewhere, i.e. FOX Sports Net and/or FOX Soccer Plus, as Chelsea will need a result in order to maintain 3rd place.

        If Wigan were to win on Tuesday, then Wigan vs Aston Villa will be the primary relegation battle on Sunday.


        I would be very surprised if Wigan were to win on Tuesday. Wenger needs Arsenal to win in order for him to keep his job.

        1. Even if Arsenal doesn’t win today, they can still finish in fourth on Sunday if Spurs draw or lose against Sunderland. The Mackems may be fighting for their Premier League survival on Sunday depending on today’s result.

          FOX Soccer is planning on showing 9 of the games live on Sunday across their networks, with ESPN getting the best pick of the matches.

          While Chelsea will want to finish in third place, they’ve already qualified for the Champions League next season, so their game against Everton will be a dead rubber.

          The Gaffer

          1. FOX is NOT planning on using FX, FUEL TV, or SPEED on Survival Sunday this season as of Tuesday.

            That means at most 4 matches will be televised with the rest to be streamed at

            1. ESPN2 & ESPN Deportes

            2. FOX Soccer & FOX Deportes

            3. FOX Sports Net

            4. FOX Soccer Plus

            Chelsea will need a draw against Everton in order to finish in 3rd place and avoid the UEFA Champions League playoff round.

            1. FOX advertised last week that they would be showing all 9 games live across their networks. They didn’t name which networks would be showing the games.

              The Gaffer

          2. Yes, I thought I saw a commercial on FSC last week that advertised “Survival Sunday” matches on numerous channels. I’m pretty sure the commercial showed logos for Fuel, Speed, and FX.

            1. Me too. Looks like they changed it now to just FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Soccer 2Go, and FOX Sports Net.

              The Gaffer

  1. Gaffer,

    Is it safe to assume this will resemble Press Pass, just moved from ESPNNews to ESPN2? Based on what you wrote, I’ll be disappointed if coverage of MLS comes at the expense of the other major european leagues.

    1. I was getting used to watching Press Pass on ESPNNews at 2 am on whatever random day of the week they decide to air it on.

    2. Ryan, good questions, but it’s too early to tell right now. We’ll learn more as we get closer to August.

      The Gaffer

    3. The name “Press Pass” is being dropped so that the brand becomes “ESPN FC” both online and on air.

      Furthermore, ESPN UK, ESPN America (Europe and MENA), and ESPN Classic (Europe and MENA) will all shut down on 31 July (leaving ESPN Israel as ESPN’s only presence in Europe and MENA.)

      That means the primary target market for ESPN FC becomes the U.S. Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean, Israel, and South Africa are too small.

      Not a surprise to see the focus of the show shift toward the teams that sell in the U.S. English-language market: EPL “big 6”, the clasico “twins”, USMNT, and (to a lesser extent) el Tri.

      PSG? Big deal.

      AC Milan? Juve? Inter? Who cares?

      Bayern? Dortmund? Who are they?

  2. How is ESPN going to show highlights to EPL when NBC has the rights to everything EPL. Is it going to be like Press Pass used to be when the screen would go black because they didn’t have the rights in the US to show hightlights?

    1. Am thinking they will prob get permission from NBC? Fox got permission from BEIN, GOLTV to show la liga, seri-a highlights

      1. They’ll do the same as FOX’s Goals On Sundays do and will show highlights with permission of the other rights holders.

        The Gaffer

        1. Because ESPN FC should NOT a considered a regularly scheduled “newscast” (but should be treated as a “magazine” program), the standard U.S. broadcast industry rule of “90 seconds of highlights from each event within 72 hours” does NOT apply.

          The networks will generally have to negotiate barter deals.

  3. I used to be a big fan of the show when Derek Rae was host and back when the show was only on twice a week Monday and Friday. It seems like the extending to 6 days a week has weaken the product and when ESPN UK came on board and a lot of the highlights were removed it just became a repetitive chat show and I turned off.

    The changes are promising but still don’t think it will be as good as it was before the show got shown into the US/UK or even online unless they decide to do regular regional opt outs to cover local issues it will probably be much the same but with highlights

    1. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen in August, after ESPN exits Europe and MENA (except Israel) entirely.

      I am expecting the show to be more EPL-centric (with emphasis on the “Big 6”) next season, with some coverage of the clasico twins, the USMNT, and El Tri. Juve, AC Milan, Inter, Bayern, Dortmund, and PSG will have to fight for minutes on the show.

      The remaining markets for ESPN FC:

      1. U.S. English-language

      2. Australia

      3. New Zealand

      4. South Africa

      5. Caribbean

  4. I faithfully DVR and watch (the next morning) ESPN FC Press Pass every day that it is on. As long as this is just a drop of “Press Pass” from the naming, then I’ll be right fine and set my DVR to record this “new” show in the same manner.

  5. I really liked Press Pass. Gab Marcotti usually had something interesting to say (unlike the Fox Soccer Matchday gang).

  6. About time they did something like this, though wonder what time it will be on, my guess is late at night (10-midnight)

  7. I just hope they don’t hire any of the on air announcers from Fox Soccer News. The only good announcer on that show is Bobby McMahon. The rest of them are so annoying, I quit watching that show. Any news of what happens to Fox Soccer News?????

    1. Thomas Rongen is absolutely awful. And Lloyd Barker offers nothing.

      Still, what do you expect when you’ve got a 24 year old hairdo in the lead anchor desk.

      Whatever happened to ultrastiff Kara Lang? Like she was so much worse than everyone else that she needed to get dumped?

  8. I assume most of the Fox Soccer guys will stay on Fox, the people on Fox Soccer News work in Canada so I’m sure that show will still be on television over there

  9. Even though Presspass suffers from the typical ESPN argument-for-arguments-sake disease, I kind of like watching Presspass especially on Sunday when they bring in Sid Lowe.

    But the bigger question is … what happens to Fox Soccer News? Does it move to FS1? Reduce to 30 Mins? And will Sky Sports News go away?

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