ABC and ESPN+ will have live coverage of one of the highlight fixtures of the opening weekend of the 2023/24 LaLiga campaign as Real Madrid travels to Athletic Club. Last season’s runner-up in league play is again one of the favorites. Now, Americans that have access to OTA channel ABC can watch Los Blancos face off against another historic Spanish side.
ESPN is no stranger to airing games in LaLiga or the Bundesliga on ABC. For example, ESPN kicked off its coverage of LaLiga with a new rights deal by airing Barcelona on ABC in 2021. At times, this coverage also included live studios from either Camp Nou or the Santiago Bernabeu.
This is yet another instance of LaLiga on ABC. Real Madrid, which won LaLiga in 2021/22, is hunting for a return to dominance domestically. The only trophy the club won last season was the Copa del Rey. To be fair, though, that was Real Madrid’s first time winning the Spanish cup competition since 2013/14. The club’s opponent on this Saturday’s kickoff, Athletic Club, had been to three Copa del Rey Finals in the time since Real Madrid’s last appearance in that game.
Athletic Club poses an interesting challenge for Real Madrid. Last season, the Basque club finished eighth in LaLiga, missing out on Europe. In the Copa del Rey, Athletic Bilbao reached another semifinal. However, an extra time loss to Osasuna made the club miss out on a third final in four years.
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Real Madrid and Athletic Club on ABC is part of change for ESPN
In addition to putting this game on ABC, ESPN is doing more to promote LaLiga. After a summer tour in the United States and Mexico, all LaLiga games over the first few weeks of the season are available on ESPN Deportes. Clearly, LaLiga and ESPN have a hope to build on the vast population of Spanish-speaking Americans that watch soccer.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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