ESPN+ Acquires Coppa Italia, Other International League Rights
ESPN+ and ESPN have reached an exclusive, multi-year rights agreement in the United States for Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana — the two premier Cup competitions in Italian football. Coppa Italia is Italy’s single-elimination domestic Cup competition, and Supercoppa Italiana is the annual matchup between the winner of Italy’s Serie A versus the Coppa Italia champion. The agreement, combined with the acquisition of 380 Serie A matches, makes ESPN and ESPN+ the exclusive home of Italian professional football in the United States.
Twenty-four Coppa Italia matches will air each year on ESPN+, the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) segment in conjunction with ESPN, which launched earlier this spring. Coverage will begin with the Coppa Italia round of 16 matches in January 2019 through the two-leg, semifinal series in February.
The annual Coppa Italia Final (April 25, 2019) and the one-match Supercoppa Italiana will air live on the ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNEWS), in addition to ESPN Deportes’ live Spanish-language presentation of the matches.
“Coppa Italia and Serie A are the crown jewels of Italian football,” says Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, ESPN. “Having the two properties as part of the foundational sports content on ESPN+ makes the platform a must-have digital network for soccer fans in the United States.”
Already home to Italian Serie A, FA Cup, Major League Soccer, and other top soccer leagues from around the world, ESPN+ has acquired rights to the Danish Superliga, Sweden’s Allsvenskan, and Indian Super League — adding 126 matches to the annual schedule.
- Danish Superliga (Denmark)
- The 14-team league has a unique competition format — league-wide home-and-away series combined with teams paired into 10 match championship rounds for the top-six teams (bottom eight compete in relegation playoffs) — played July through May
- Current champion: FC Midtjylland
- Approximately 36 matches (one per week) will be streamed on ESPN+.
- Allsvenskan (Sweden)
- The 16-team Allsvenskan is a foundational league for the Swedish National Team, which reached the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals
- Current champion: Malmö FF
- ESPN+ will stream 30 matches (one per week) April through November.
- Indian Super League
- The 10-team Indian Super League (ISL) began play in October 2014
- Current champion: Chennaiyin FC
- ESPN+ will stream 60 matches (five per week).