ESPN, Fox Sports Reach Deal on U.S. Multimedia Rights for Premier League Soccer

ESPN has reached a three-year deal with Fox Sports International that gives the network the U.S. multimedia rights to up to 74 live Barclays Premier League (BPL) matches. The Sublicense deal will allow ESPN to televise or stream 74 of England’s BPL matches on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, and ESPN Mobile TV per year through the 2012-2013 season. According to ESPN, most of the BPL coverage will be available in HD.

ESPN’s coverage will kick off Saturday, Aug. 14, at 7:30 a.m. ET with the opening match of the 2010-11 season: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City. Matches will primarily air on Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m. or 10 a.m and weekday afternoons (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) at 2:45 p.m.

“We remain committed to serving soccer fans in the United States by offering coverage of the best leagues in the world, and we are pleased to work with Fox Sports International to expand our rights of the Barclays Premier League in this country,” says Scott Guglielmino, SVP of programming, ESPN.

Last season, ESPN2 televised 46 Premier League league matches. However, matches will now be featured regularly on ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, and ESPN Mobile TV. Select midweek matches will be available exclusively on ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Mobile TV.

The move reflects a continued push by ESPN for the rights to major soccer content, following its coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. ESPN also currently televises the Premier League in dozens of countries around the world via ESPN in the UK, ESPN Latin America South, ESPN Brazil, ESPN Caribbean and ESPN Star Sports (in India and across many parts of southern and southeast Asia). ESPN also has exclusive rights in the UK to mobile highlights for all 380 Barclays Premier League matches, for each of the next three seasons.

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