Wrexham’s FA Cup game this Saturday will be shown live on ESPN2, a source revealed to World Soccer Talk. ESPN2’s Wrexham FA Cup game will also stream on ESPN+.
Impressively, the kickoff time for Blyth against Wrexham was moved specifically to accommodate viewers in the United States. Originally, the FA Cup match was set for 10AM ET. Instead, Saturday’s game between Blyth Spartans and Wrexham kicks off at 8AM ET. Pre-game coverage starts at 7:30AM ET. No word yet whether Wrexham’s star owners will make an appearance on TV.
ESPN2 Wrexham FA Cup game
Wrexham AFC are a major story in the United States this season due to the success of the Welcome to Wrexham television series. The club’s two co-owners are actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Both of them play a starring role in the fly-on-the-wall TV series, which was inspired by Sunderland ‘Til I Die.
Playing at Blyth’s Croft Park in the northeast of England, the stadium is a quaint location that is picture perfect for a FA Cup match. With a capacity of more than 4,000, and expectations of a large viewing audience on ESPN2, this promises to be a fun game to watch.
The winner of the Fourth Qualifying Round game moves on to the First Round of the oldest national football competition in the world. During the First Round, teams from League One and League Two enter the competition. Therefore, the prospect of a non-league team facing a much bigger club creates an enticing David versus Goliath opportunity.
Wrexham, currently in the National League, are hoping to get promoted from the fifth tier of English football.
Wrexham’s chance to break through the TV barrier
This season, Ryan Reynolds took to Twitter to express his frustration that the National League and BT Sport wouldn’t allow games to be televised live to fans both domestically and internationally. With the FA Cup, the competition gives Wrexham an ideal opportunity to advance through the tournament in order to reach a worldwide television audience.
In the United States, many of the FA Cup games are shown exclusively via ESPN+. For ESPN to decide to broadcast a Fourth Round Qualifying game on US television is remarkable.
Coincidentally, both Reynolds and McElhenney appeared on the studio set of SportsCenter in a skit that aired on Welcome to Wrexham.
Welcome to Wrexham airs on Wednesday nights on FX, and is shown on demand via Hulu. FX also announced that the documentary series is returning for a second season. That new season comes out sometime in the Fall of 2023.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Focus Images
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