- Europa League
ESPN expands Europa League coverage
ESPN has expanded its rights for coverage of the UEFA Europa League after securing live, multi-platform rights for up to 176 matches from the tournament. The deal begins in August 2012 and runs for three years, reinforcing the company's growing multi-screen line-up of UK, European and international football.
Following on from its coverage of the tournament in the UK for the past two seasons (as well as the current season), ESPN will remain the exclusive UK pay television partner of the competition, bringing viewers at least two live televised matches during each match week. Further coverage details will be announced at a later date.
ESPN's UEFA Europa League coverage will be led by Ray Stubbs while Jon Champion and Derek Rae will bring fans all the action from the commentary box. As part of the deal, ESPN will serve as host broadcaster for any live home matches featuring British clubs that it selects for broadcast.
"The UEFA Europa League is one of the top football competitions in the world and a popular part of ESPN's schedule," said Ross Hair, Managing Director, ESPN - Europe, Middle East and Africa. "We're delighted to not only renew our association with the competition in the UK, but to expand the number of games we will be able to bring fans, expand our football line-up and augment the growing range of sports we broadcast in the UK."
The UEFA Europa League features some of the biggest clubs from across Europe as they compete to reach the final in May each year. This season, leading UK and Irish sides Celtic, Birmingham, Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City, Fulham, and Shamrock Rovers are competing against the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Besiktas, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint Germain. The competition proper begins with 48 clubs, ten of whom were eliminated in the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
The competition augments ESPN's multiplatform coverage of football offering. This season, ESPN's live television coverage includes Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Premier League, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, England U-21 matches, Euro 2012 qualifiers, German Cup, Dutch Eredivisie, Russian Premier Liga and international friendly matches. ESPN also features the nightly football studio programme Press Pass (Mon- Fri 11:30pm BST), which engages viewers with smart, opinionated discussion about UK, European and global football with a team of top pundits including Frank Leboeuf, Shaka Hislop, Steve Nicol, Craig Burley and more.
On mobile, ESPN Goals delivers in-match, post-match and customised highlights of all 380 Barclays Premier League matches, including every goal throughout the season within minutes of the action, for free. Online, ESPN provides complete news and analysis of UK and global football on ESPN.co.uk/football and ESPNsoccernet.com.