OFFICIAL: ESPN signs multi-year rights agreement in U.S. for Italian football
Finally, it is official. ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) will be providing North America with live Italian football. The Serie A, Serie B, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa – to some extent, the large global pay television sports channel will allow for a quality and trustworthy option to watch the matches that so many have been asking and waiting for, for so many years. This is the official statement from legaseriea.it.
“ESPN has reached an exclusive, multi-year rights agreement in the United States for Italy’s Serie A TIM, one of the world’s top soccer leagues. Beginning in 2018, more than 340 matches per season will be carried on ESPN+, the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. ESPN+ will carry an average of 9 matches live each week from August through May, while ESPN networks will televise a Serie A TIM Match of the Week [close to 40 matches per season]. Most telecasts will air on ESPN and ESPN2, and the Match of the Week will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. The 20-team Serie A TIM is home to some of global football’s most recognizable and storied clubs, including Juventus, Milan, Roma, Inter, Napoli, Lazio and many more. Coverage of Serie A TIM will also feature year-round news and highlights content across ESPN platforms. Additionally, ESPN+ will exclusively feature one-hour season preview and review programs, a weekly preview and highlight shows and a Serie A TIM goals of the week program. Coverage of the 2018-19 Serie A TIM season will begin Saturday, August 18, with the league’s opening match, Chievo Verona vs. Juventus, airing on ESPN+ (12 p.m. ET).”
Lega Serie A President Gaetano Micchichè spoke on the matter: “We are extremely satisfied with the agreement signed with ESPN, which testifies the growing importance and the international recognition of our league. This agreement, together with those recently concluded, shows the value of both Serie A TIM and its champions, which will be appreciated by more than 90 million soccer fans and enthusiasts in the U.S. in the next years”.
Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling at ESPN also stated: “The addition of Italy’s Serie A TIM underscores our ambitious goal of making ESPN+ home to the world’s best soccer leagues – and an indispensable destination for fans of the sport in the United States. With Ronaldo’s arrival to Serie A TIM, we anticipate even more interest and exposure for this property in the seasons ahead.”
Italy’s Serie A TIM, now in its 117th season, is one of the top leagues in the world. The league 58 players on the 2018 FIFA World Cup team rosters, which ranked fourth among all leagues.
What is ESPN+?
ESPN+ is the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks.
Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of soccer matches a year, including MLS, UEFA Nations League, USL and more, as well as ESPN’s signature daily studio program ESPN FC. Additionally, fans get hundreds of MLB and NHL games, thousands of college sports events, exclusive Top Rank boxing, UFC (beginning in 2019), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby, cricket, new and exclusive documentary films and series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time.
ESPN+ is an integrated part of the ESPN App, the leading sports app and the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans. The ESPN App is a showcase of the company’s culture of innovation, delivering a rich, personalized experience that curates all of ESPN’s incredible content around each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ will also be available through ESPN.com.