ESPN’s English Championship deal is close to being renewed, sources revealed to World Soccer Talk.
With the 2022/23 season scheduled to begin Friday, July 29, anticipation is building for the return of the English Championship, League One and League Two. While a deal has not yet been signed, World Soccer Talk understands that ESPN is making plans for the new season in anticipation of the agreement being finalized. For instance, the opening game of the 2022/23 Championship season is going to be on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. When it airs, the English Championship is set to get a major boost in the reach for the league with the opening game on linear television. For the remainder of the season, the vast majority of games available to ESPN are going to be on ESPN+.
Interest growing for Championship among US soccer fans
Competitively, the English Championship is arguably the best second division league in the world. This season, in particular, will be of even greater interest for American viewers. US Men’s National Team (USMNT) goalkeeper Zach Steffen has joined Championship club Middlesbrough on loan. As of press time, Daryl Dike is at West Bromwich Albion. Plus other Americans include Josh Sargent (Norwich), Duane Holmes (Huddersfield), Ethan Horvath (Luton), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), among others.
Among soccer fans who regularly watch the Championship, their chief complaint is that ESPN+ doesn’t broadcast all of the games. However, ESPN+ broadcasts all of the games made available to them. Since the majority of Championship clubs have their own streaming channel, the only way to watch all games is to subscribe to two services. For instance, a fan of Swansea City needs to subscribe to both ESPN+ and the Swansea City streaming service to have access to all the games of his or her favorite team. The club-specific streaming service used by many clubs in the Football League is known as iFollow. Check your official club’s website for more information about their streaming service.
On a typical weekend, ESPN+ streams three to four games. For soccer fans in the United States, games on the iFollow streaming service are blocked when games are on ESPN+.
2022/23 English Championship deal is close
With new clubs to the Championship this season featuring Sunderland, Burnley, Norwich, Watford, Wigan Athletic and Rotherham, the 2022/23 season promises to be another competitive one. Last season, Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest were the three teams promoted to the Premier League after a long and exciting season.
ESPN’s schedule of Championship games is subject to change. Everything is contingent on the deal being signed, but presumably if the agreements aren’t finalized by Friday, ESPN will temporarily broadcast the games to ensure that fans don’t miss out on the action.
Championship TV schedule
All times Eastern.
Friday, August 19
Saturday, August 20
Sunday, August 21
Friday, August 26
Saturday, August 27
Tuesday, August 30
Wednesday, August 31
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