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ESPN seals deal to broadcast Serie A in the U.S.

ESPN seals multi-annual deal to broadcast Serie A in the U.S.

August 7, 2018 By Oscar Rojas
Over 340 games from the Italian top flight will be available on ESPN's digital platform, adding comprehensive coverage of the tournament with weekly shows.

ESPN and ESPN+ have 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. The agreement will bring more than 340 matches per season to ESPN+, the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service available for fans living in the U.S.

The beginning of the competition will take place on August 10, and ESPN+ will carry an average of nine 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.

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, ChievoVerona vs. Juventus, airing on ESPN+ (12 p.m. ET). Five-time Ballon d'Or Award winner Cristiano Ronaldo, will make his league debut for Juventus, winners of seven straight Serie A TIM titles.

Italy's Serie A TIM, now in its 117th season, ranks among the top leagues in the world. Serie A TIM had 58 players on the just-concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup team rosters, which ranked fourth among all leagues.

Additional Serie A TIM highlights:

  • Serie A TIM teams have won 12 European Cup (Champions League) titles – tied for second with England, behind Spain's 18.

  • Italian teams have played in 28 Champions League finals, behind only Spanish teams (29) for most appearances in European Cup finals.

  • Six Serie A TIM players scored at least 25 goals per season over the last three years, more than any other top-five European league – Lazio's Ciro Immobile (29) and Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi (29) in 2017-18 season; AS Roma's Edin Dzeko (29), S.S.C. Napoli Dries Mertens (28) and Torino's Andrea Belotti (26) in 2016-17; S.S.C.'s Napoli Gonzalo Higuaín (36) in 2015-16.

  • Italian Serie A TIM has had at least one Champions League semifinalist in three of the last four seasons. The other two leagues with the same record are Germany and Spain.

  • Serie A TIM has an average of 2.72 goals per game, just below La Liga's 2.75 among top-five European leagues.

"We are extremely satisfied with the agreement, 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," said Gaetano Miccichè, Lega Serie A President.

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