ESPN’s 25th Sunday Night Baseball Season: Boston Red Sox to Host New York Yankees on August 3

ESPN-MLBESPN announced today its game selection for the August 3 edition of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell. The defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and David Ortiz will host the rival New York Yankees and Derek Jeter on Sunday, August 3, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Dan Shulman, analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary for the telecast. Sunday Night Baseball is the exclusive, national Major League Baseball game of the week.
 
Sunday Night Baseball is also available on ESPN Radio with Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and WatchESPN.
On deck:
The Red Sox and Ortiz will host the Detroit Tigers and Miguel Cabrera in a 2013 American League Championship Series rematch on Sunday, May 18, at 8 p.m.
 
Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule:
Date Game
May 18 Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
May 25 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
June 1 Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers
June 8 Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
July 13 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
July 20 Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
Aug 3 New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
 
Note: Additional game selections for Sunday Night Baseball telecasts in June and July will be made three weeks in advance, while selections for August and September will be made two weeks in advance.
Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet previews Sunday Night Baseball at 7 p.m. with Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin and John Kruk.
-30-

 

ABC & ESPN to Present 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Pacers vs. Heat

NBA-on-ESPN-logoNBA Countdown on Site for Pre-game and Halftime Shows throughout Eastern Conference Finals

2014 NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN Prior to Game Two of Eastern Conference Finals

ESPN Radio to Nationally Broadcast Both Conference Finals Series

ABC and ESPN will combine to present the 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the two-time reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and the top-seeded Indiana Pacers with Paul George and Roy Hibbert. The series starts Sunday, May 18, on ABC with Game One at 3:30 p.m. ET from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke (@HeyDB)will provide commentary throughout the series.

NBA Countdown – ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA pre-game show – will hit the road for on-site pre-game and halftime shows throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. Countdown will precede every Eastern Conference Finals telecast on ABC and ESPN, starting Sunday at 3 p.m. on ABC. Additional Countdown telecasts will generally begin at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. NBA Countdown is hosted by Sage Steele (@SageSteele) with analysts Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons), Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) and Doug Collins.

The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will air live on ESPN prior to Eastern Conference Finals Game Two at 8 p.m. Mark Jones (@MarkJonesESPN) will host Draft Lottery coverage with Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) and Heather Cox (@HeatherESPN). The telecast will include interviews with draftees and team representatives.

ESPN Radio – the exclusive, national radio home of the NBA Playoffs in its 19th season of NBA postseason coverage – will nationally broadcast both the Eastern Conference Finals and the Western Conference Finals (San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder). Marc Kestecher (@MarcKestecher) and analyst Jon Barry will describe the action for the Eastern Conference Finals, while Kevin Calabro (@RealKCalabro) and Hubie Brown will handle commentary for the Western Conference Finals.

ESPN Deportes will also televise the Eastern Conference Finals with Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales calling the action. In addition, Claudia Trejos and Sebastian Martinez Christensen will serve as the pre-game and halftime team.

ESPN International will have coverage of both Conference Finals series. The Eastern Conference Finals will be available throughout South America, Central America, Mexico, Caribbean and Oceania, while the Western Conference Finals will be available in Oceania.

2014 Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Countdown schedule:

Date Time (ET) Telecast Network(s)
Sun, May 18 3 p.m. NBA Countdown ABC, WatchABC
  3:30 p.m. Game One: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchABC, ESPN3
Tues, May 20 7 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. 2014 NBA Draft Lottery ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Two: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Sat, May 24 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Three: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Mon, May 26 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Four: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Wed, May 28 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Five: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers *if necessary ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Fri, May 30 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Six:  Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat *if necessary ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Sun, June 1 7:30 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown ESPN, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Game Seven: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers *if necessary ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

-30-

ESPN to Present the 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship

espn-logoCoverage From Seven Regional Sites, Every Game Televised From Super Regionals and Women’s College World Series

ESPN will be the home of the 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship presented by Capital One beginning Friday, May 16, featuring exclusive coverage from seven Regional sites, all eight Super Regionals and the Women’s College World Series.  Regional round coverage (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3) features up to 49 games from seven campus sites (May 16 – May 18). ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise every game from the eight Super Regionals (May 22 – May 25) and Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. (May 29 – June 4).  ESPN began televising the entire Women’s College World Series in 2001 and Super Regionals in 2007.

ESPN’s Regional coverage will feature six of the top 11 seeds in the tournament, including No. 2 Alabama (Tuscaloosa Regional) and No. 3 UCLA (Los Angeles Regional). Additional top seeds include No. 6 Louisiana Lafayette (Lafayette Regional), No. 7 and defending champion Oklahoma (Norman Regional), No. 8 Florida State (Tallahassee Regional), No. 9 Arizona State (Tempe Regional), and No. 11 Arizona (Tucson Regional).  ESPN will carry every game from these seven Regionals – a four-team, double-elimination tournament with one team from each site advancing to the Super Regionals.  A full schedule is provided below.

The 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship bracket was unveiled during ESPNU’s NCAA Softball Championship Selection Show presented by Capital One on Sunday, May 11.  The Southeastern Conference received the most bids (11), followed by the Big Ten (5), Pac 12 (5), Atlantic Coast (4), Big 12 (4), and American Athletic (3). Overall, 32 conferences are represented in the field and six teams will make their first appearance: Bryant University, Charleston Southern University, Dartmouth University, Utah Valley University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Texas Southern University. The complete 64-team bracket can be seen here.

 

ESPN’s NCAA Division I Softball Championship Coverage Highlights

ESPN Analysts: ESPN’s softball analysts are accomplished former college, Olympic and professional softball players.

o    College: Alabama

o    Honors: Three-time All American, National Champion (2012),  SEC Freshmen of the Year (2010)

o    College: Arizona

o    Honors: National Player of the Year (1996) and Women’s College World Series MVP (’96) Four-time National Champion, winning three as a player (1993, ’94, and ’96) and one as an assistant coach, also with Arizona (1997)

 

o    College:  UCLA

o    Honors: National Champion (1999), pitched in the three other WCWS (2000, ’01, ’02, ’03), member of gold medal-winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympics

 

o    College: Stanford

o    Honors: Four-time All-American (1999, 2000, ’01, ’02), member of gold medal-winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and silver medal winning team  at 2008 Beijing Olympics

 

o    College:Arizona

o    Honors: Won three national championships (1993, ’94,  ’97), member of goal medal-winning teams at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics

 

o    College:  Texas A&M

o    Honors: Two-time All-American (2005, ’07). Only player in Big 12 history to receive Freshman of the Year and Player of Year in same season (2005), played in two WCWS (2007, ’08)

 

o    College: Oklahoma State

o    Honors: Two-time All American, member of goal medal-winning teams at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 2000 Sydney Olympics, eight-time Japan Pro League MVP

Garland Cooper, three-time Big Ten Play of the Year, and Cheri Kempf, Hall of Famer, will be in-studio throughout the Regionals.

espnW.com — The online destination for 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship coverage.

  • Comprehensive Recaps:Graham Hays will provide daily recaps in a “five things you should know” format.
  • Tourney Snapshots: Behind-the-scenes video and photos from teams and student athletes participating in the championship. Fans can submit their photos by tagging them #RoadtoWCWS in the Regionals and Super Regionals and then #WCWS during the Women’s College World Series.
  • Student-Athlete Perspective: Six student-athletes will blog throughout their championship experience: Ally Carda (UCLA) Amber Freeman (Arizona State), Victoria Hayward (Washington), Ellen Renfroe (Tennessee), Janie Takeda (Oregon), and Lacey Waldrop (Florida State).

Social Media Integration:

  • @ESPNU and @espnW will provide news, game updates, photos and videos throughout the championship. Fans can join the conversation by tagging their tweets with #RoadtoWCWSin the Regionals and Super Regionals and then #WCWS during the Women’s College World Series.

 

ESPN Regional Coverage Information (May 16 – 18)

Please note: A day-by-day Regional Schedule, can be found here

 

Region by Region Schedule

 

Tallahassee Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 4:30 p.m. South Florida vs. South Carolina

Pam Ward, Michele Smith

ESPN2
  7 p.m. Fordham vs. No. 8 Florida State ESPN2
Sat, May 17 Noon Game:  No. 3 ESPN
  2:30 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPN
  5 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPN3
Sun, May 18 Noon Game:  No. 6 ESPN2
  2:30 p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPN2

 

Tempe Regional                                                                         

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 3:30 p.m. San Diego State vs. Michigan

Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza

ESPNU
  6 p.m. Dartmouth vs. No. 9 Arizona State  ESPNU
Sat, May 17 6 p.m. Game: No. 3 ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPNU
  11 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPNU
Sun, May 18 5:30 p.m. Game:  No. 6 ESPNU
  8 p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucson Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 8 p.m. Louisville vs. LSU

Adam Amin, Amanda Scarborough

ESPN3
  11 p.m. Boston University vs. No. 11 Arizona   ESPNU
Sat, May 17 4:30 p.m. Game: No. 3 ESPN
  7 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPN
  9:30 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPN
Sun, May 18 4:30 p.m. Game:  No. 6 ESPN2
  7 p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPN2

 

Los Angeles Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 6 p.m. Long Beach State vs. Notre Dame

Tracy Warren, Amanda Freed

ESPN3
  9 p.m. Southern Utah vs. No. 3 UCLA     ESPN3
Sat, May 17 3 p.m. Game:  No. 3 ESPN3
  6 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPN3
  9 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPN3
Sun, May 18 3 p.m. Game:  No. 6 ESPN3
6 p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPN3

 

Norman Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 6 p.m. Hofstra vs. Texas A&M

Mark Neely, Jenny Dalton-Hill

ESPN3
  8:30 p.m. Bryant vs. No. 7 Oklahoma     ESPN3
Sat, May 17 2 p.m. Game:  No. 3 ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPN3
  7 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPN3
Sun, May 18 2 p.m. Game:  No. 6 ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPN3

 

Tuscaloosa Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 4:30 p.m. USC Upstate vs. South Alabama

Cara Capuano,  Leah O’Brien-Amico

ESPN3
  7 p.m. SIU Edwardsville vs. No. 2 Alabama   ESPN3
Sat, May 17 2 p.m. Game: No. 3 ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPN3
  7 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPN3
Sun, May 18 2 p.m. Game:  No. 6 ESPN3
4:30- p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPN3

 

Lafayette Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 16 4 p.m. Mississippi State vs. Texas

Melissa Lee, Kayla Braud

ESPN3
  7 p.m. Texas Southern vs. No. 6 Louisiana Lafayette    ESPN3
Sat, May 17 1 p.m. Game: No. 3 ESPN3
  4 p.m. Game:  No. 4 ESPN3
  7 p.m. Game:  No. 5 ESPN3
Sun, May 18 1 p.m. Game:  No. 6 ESPN3
  4 p.m. Game:  No. 7 (if nec) ESPN3

 

ESPN Super Regionals Television Schedule (May 22-25)

Commentators will be announced after the Regional round

Date Time (ET) Site and Game Network
Thur, May 22 7 p.m. Site No. 1: Game No. 1 ESPN2
  9 p.m. Site No. 2: Game No. 1 ESPN2
Fri, May 23 2 p.m. Site No. 3: Game No. 1 ESPNU
  4 p.m. Site No. 1: Game No. 2 ESPNU
  6 p.m. Site No. 2: Game No. 2 ESPNU
  7 p.m. Site No. 1: Game No. 3 (if nec) ESPN
  7 p.m. Site No. 4: Game No. 1 ESPN2
  9 p.m. Site No. 2: Game No. 3 (if nec) ESPN
  9 p.m. Site No. 5: Game No. 1 ESPNU
Sat, May 24 Noon Site No. 3: Game No. 2 ESPN
  1 p.m. Site No. 6: Game No. 1 ESPNU
  3 p.m. Site No. 3:  Game No. 3 (if nec) ESPN
  3 p.m. Site No. 5: Game No. 2 ESPNU
  5 p.m. Site No. 4: Game No. 2 ESPN
  6 p.m. Site No. 5: Game No. 2 ESPNU
  8 p.m. Site No. 4: Game No. No. 3 (if nec) ESPN2
  8 p.m. Site No. 7: Game No. 1 ESPNU
  10 p.m. Site No. 8: Game No. 1 ESPN2
Sun, May 25 Noon Site No. 6: Game No. 2 ESPN
  3 p.m. Site No. 6: Game No. 3 (if nec) ESPN
  3 p.m. Site No. 7: Game No. 2 ESPNU
  5 p.m. Site No. 8: Game No. 2 ESPN
  6 p.m. Site No. 7: Game No. No. 3 (if nec) ESPNU
  8 p.m. Site No. 8: Game No. No. 3 (if nec) ESPN2

 

ESPN Women’s College World Series Television Schedule (May 29 – June 4)

Commentators will be announced after the Super Regionals

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thurs, May 29 Noon WCWS: Game No. 1 ESPN
  2:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 2 ESPN
  7:00 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 3 ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 4 ESPN2
Friday, May 30 7 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 5 ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 6 ESPN2
Sat, May 31 Noon WCWS: Game No. 7 ESPN2
  2:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 8 ESPN2
  7 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 9 ESPN
  9:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 10 ESPN
Sun, June 1 1 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 11 ESPN
  3:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 12 ESPN
  7 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 13( if nec) ESPNU
  9:30 p.m. WCWS: Game No. 14 (if nec) ESPNU
Mon, June 2 8 p.m. WCWS Finals: Game No. 1 ESPN2
Tue, June 3 8 p.m. WCWS Finals: Game No. 2 ESPN
Wed, June 4 8 p.m. WCWS Finals: Game No. 3 (if nec) ESPN

Networks and times are subject to change

-30-

2014 SEC Volleyball and Soccer Coverage Quintuples with SEC Network Launch

SEC_Network_logo65 Live Games Scheduled for New Network

The SEC Network, a new 24/7 sports network launching August 14 and operated by ESPN, will elevate the Southeastern Conference volleyball and soccer programs with unprecedented national television coverage. This season’s matchups will increase from a total of 14 events in 2013 to 80 events in 2014. The SEC Network alone will air a combined 65 live women’s volleyball and women’s soccer games in its debut year – more than five times the number of events available nationwide last year.

“These schedules reflect the breadth of exposure that our student-athletes will receive in the SEC’s Olympic sports on the SEC Network,” said Commissioner Mike Slive.  “It’s indicative of the full array of sports and unprecedented number of televised events SEC fans will enjoy throughout the athletic year.”

The 80 games scheduled by the SEC and ESPN include:

  • 40 women’s volleyball games on SEC Network
  • 25 women’s soccer games on SEC Network
  • 10 women’s volleyball games on ESPNU
  • 5  women’s soccer games on ESPNU

For the first time, SEC soccer will have a consistent television series, airing every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET beginning Aug. 22 through the regular season, with additional matchups on Sundays. The SEC Network will also televise the First Round, Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds of the SEC Soccer Tournament. Volleyball will air consistently on Wednesdays and Sundays through the regular season.

SEC Network Women’s Volleyball Schedule:

DATE TIME (ET) MATCHUP
Wed, Sept. 24 7 p.m. ALABAMA at GEORGIA
Fri, Sept. 26 6 p.m. OLE MISS at SOUTH CAROLINA
Sun, Sept. 28 Noon TENNESSEE at MISSOURI
  2 p.m. AUBURN at TEXAS A&M
Wed, Oct. 1 7 p.m. MISSOURI at OLE MISS
Fri, Oct. 3 6 p.m. FLORIDA at LSU
Sun, Oct. 5 2 p.m. FLORIDA at MISSISSIPPI STATE
  4 p.m. MISSOURI at GEORGIA
  6 p.m. TEXAS A&M at KENTUCKY
Wed, Oct. 8 7 p.m. OLE MISS at ARKANSAS
Sun, Oct. 12 noon AUBURN at KENTUCKY
  2 p.m. TEXAS A&M at FLORIDA
  4 p.m. SOUTH CAROLINA at ALABAMA
Wed, Oct. 15 7 p.m. ARKANSAS at TEXAS A&M
Fri, Oct. 17 6 p.m. LSU at MISSOURI
Sun, Oct. 19 noon TENNESSEE at GEORGIA
  2 p.m. MISSOURI at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Wed, Oct. 22 7 p.m. LSU at OLE MISS
Fri, Oct. 24 6 p.m. MISSOURI at FLORIDA
Sun, Oct. 26 noon KENTUCKY at TEXAS A&M
  2 p.m. ARKANSAS at ALABAMA
Wed, Oct. 29 7 p.m. FLORIDA at GEORGIA
Fri, Oct. 31 6 p.m. AUBURN at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sun, Nov. 2 noon FLORIDA at TENNESSEE
  2 p.m. SOUTH CAROLINA at MISSISSIPPI
  4 p.m. TEXAS A&M at MISSOURI
Thu, Nov. 6 7 p.m. LSU at TEXAS A&M
Sun, Nov. 9 Noon MISSOURI at KENTUCKY
  2 p.m. ARKANSAS at GEORGIA
  4 p.m. ALABAMA at SOUTH CAROLINA
Wed, Nov. 12 7 p.m. AUBURN at FLORIDA
Sun, Nov. 16 noon FLORIDA at KENTUCKY
  2 p.m. GEORGIA at ALABAMA
  4 p.m. OLE MISS at MISSOURI
Wed, Nov. 19 7 p.m. TEXAS A&M at ARKANSAS
Fri, Nov. 21 6 p.m. MISSISSIPPI STATE at GEORGIA
Sun, Nov. 23 noon FLORIDA at ARKANSAS
  2 p.m. KENTUCKY at MISSISSIPPI STATE
  4 p.m. MISSOURI at TEXAS A&M
Wed, Nov. 26 7 p.m. WILD CARD SELECTION

 

SEC Network Women’s Soccer Schedule: 

DATE TIME (ET) MATCHUP
Fri, Aug. 22 6 p.m. GEORGIA at OLE MISS
Thu, Sept. 18 7 p.m. TENNESSEE at TEXAS A&M
Fri, Sept. 19 6 p.m. OLE MISS at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sun, Sept. 21 1 p.m. SOUTH CAROLINA at AUBURN
  3 p.m. VANDERBILT at GEORGIA
Thu, Sept. 25 7 p.m. ARKANSAS at OLE MISS
Sun, Sept. 28 4 p.m. ARKANSAS at LSU
Thu, Oct. 2 7 p.m. KENTUCKY at MISSOURI
Sun, Oct. 5 Noon FLORIDA at ARKANSAS
Thu, Oct. 9 7 p.m. ALABAMA at LSU
Fri, Oct. 10 6 p.m. TEXAS A&M at VANDERBILT
Thu, Oct. 16 7 p.m. FLORIDA at SOUTH CAROLINA
Sun, Oct. 19 4 p.m. FLORIDA at KENTUCKY
Thu, Oct. 23 7 p.m. MISSISSIPPI STATE at AUBURN
Sun, Oct. 26 4 p.m. ALABAMA at AUBURN
Thu, Oct. 30 7 p.m. VANDERBILT at FLORIDA
  9 p.m. ARKANSAS at MISSOURI
Mon, Nov. 3 3:30 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
  6 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
Wed, Nov. 5 1 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL
  3:30 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL
  6 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL
  8:30 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL
Fri, Nov. 7 3:30 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL
  6 p.m. SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL

 

 

ESPNU SEC Volleyball and Soccer Schedule:

DATE TIME (ET) SPORT MATCHUPS
Wed, Sept. 24 9 p.m. Volleyball KENTUCKY at LSU
Sun, Sept. 28 2 p.m. Soccer MISSOURI at FLORIDA
Wed, Oct. 1 9 p.m. Volleyball GEORGIA at AUBURN
Sun, Oct. 5 noon Soccer KENTUCKY at TEXAS A&M
Wed, Oct. 8 9 p.m. Volleyball MISSISSIPPI STATE at LSU
Wed, Oct. 15 6 p.m. Volleyball FLORIDA at SOUTH CAROLINA
Sun, Oct. 19 3 p.m. Soccer LSU at GEORGIA
Wed, Oct. 22 9 p.m. Volleyball ALABAMA at AUBURN
Sun, Oct. 26 4 p.m. Soccer MISSOURI at TENNESSEE
Wed, Oct. 29 8 p.m. Volleyball TENNESSEE at KENTUCKY
Wed, Nov. 5 6 p.m. Volleyball OLE MISS at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sun, Nov. 9 3 p.m. Soccer SEC SOCCER TOURNAMENT FINAL
Wed, Nov. 12 9 p.m. Volleyball MISSISSIPPI STATE at ALABAMA
Wed, Nov. 19 6 p.m. Volleyball SOUTH CAROLINA at TENNESSEE
Wed, Nov. 26 9 p.m. Volleyball Wild Card Selection

An additional slate of games, to be announced at a later date, will be carried on the SEC Network’s digital platforms. All SEC Network and ESPNU games will be available on WatchESPN.

Also beginning in August, the SEC Network will air 45 college football games this season and feature a game from all 14 teams in the SEC at their home stadium in the first four weeks. Full details.

SEC Network

The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch August 14, 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include in-depth commentary and analysis in studio shows, daily news and information original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, and more. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. AT&T U-Verse, DISH, Google Fiber and National Rural Telecommunications cooperative (NRTC) have agreed to carry the SEC Network. 

-30-

2014 WNBA Season Tips Off May 17 on ESPN2

WNBA-Coin-Logo20-Game Schedule Includes Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 on ESPN

The WNBA regular-season schedule on ESPN networks opens Saturday, May 17, on ESPN2 from Madison Square Garden as the New York Liberty hosts the Chicago Sky. The ESPN/ESPN2 20-game WNBA schedule includes six doubleheaders, with five airing on Tuesday evenings in July. All games can also be seen via WatchESPN.

The opening ESPN2 game marks the return of the Liberty to the Garden after a three-year absence due to building renovations.

The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game 2014 on Saturday, July 19, will showcase the league’s top players on ESPN, at 3:30 p.m. from US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne will make seven appearances on ESPN2. The Los Angeles Sparks and 2013 WNBA MVP Candace Parker, as well as the Minnesota Lynx and 2013 WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore, will be featured on six separate occasions. The Phoenix Mercury and two-time WNBA Champion (2009, 2007) Diana Taurasi are on the ESPN2 schedule five times.

Commentators

Ryan Ruocco returns to ESPN’s WNBA coverage as a play-by-play voice. He can also be heard on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco” weekdays from 1-3 p.m. Ruocco will be paired with analyst and former WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, as well as reporter Holly Rowe. Veteran play-by-play commentator Pam Ward teams with analyst Carolyn Peck. LaChina Robinson will also work as a reporter on select games.

ESPN Content Highlights

ESPN will boost its production commitment to the WNBA through the teams, players and coaches.

  • Continued access includes:

o    Live microphones worn in-game by coaches and players.

o    Special mini-camera worn by referees during select games.

o    Look-ins at practices and shoot around, as well as in the locker rooms pregame and during half time.

  • The song “Classic” by MKTO used as the theme song throughout the regular season.
  • “Need to See” – a specialty brand focusing on top players in the league and their impact throughout the season, similar to last year’s focus of “3 to See”.

espnW

  • espnW’s 2014 season preview will include expert picks, conference predictions and player and team analysis of what the season holds. Included will be features on Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne and Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird, as well as slideshows on the top MVP candidates and league contenders.
  • Weekly columns and online chats from writers Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith.
  • Total Access with the Los Angeles Sparks. After two seasons of tremendous change, have the Sparks finally found the right formula to win the franchise’s first championship since 2002? espnW will go behind-the-scenes to examine all the key players and how they might impact Los Angeles’ quest for another title. Features will include stories, blogs, and video and photo galleries
  • Blogs from WNBA players: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), Bird (Seattle), Tina Charles (New York), Delle Donne (Chicago), Kayla McBride (San Antonio), Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles), Odyssey Simms (Tulsa) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix).

ESPN Digital Platforms

  • WatchESPN – available to 67.5 million households nationwide via an affiliated video provider – will carry every WNBA regular-season game this season.
  • Live scores, alerts and video clips accessible via the ESPN mobile Web and SportsCenter app

WNBA Postseason Coverage

ESPN2 will showcase the majority of the 2014 WNBA postseason.

  • Playoff coverage begins Thursday, Aug. 21, with an ESPN2 doubleheader.
  • The WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile runs September 7-17 with a best-of-five series.

The WNBA and ESPN have been affiliated for 18 years, dating back to the league’s inaugural season in 1997, and extended the relationship in March 2013 for six years through the 2022 season.

2014 WNBA ESPN/ESPN Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Games / Commentators Network
Sat, May 17 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at New York Liberty

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN2
Mon, May 26 3:30 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at Chicago Sky

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN2
Tue, June 3 7 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck & LaChina Robinson

ESPN2
Sun, June 15 1 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Sun, June 22 1 p.m. Tulsa Shock at Chicago Sky

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 1 8 p.m. Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Chicago Sky at Los Angeles Sparks

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Sun, July 6 2 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at New York Liberty

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  4 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Los Angeles Sparks

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 8 7 p.m. Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  9 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Sun, July 13 3 p.m. Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 15 8 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Indiana Fever

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Washington Mystics at Phoenix Mercury

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Sat, July 19 3:30 p.m. Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 (Phoenix)

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN
Tue, July 22 8 p.m. Indiana Fever at Chicago Sky

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 29 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at San Antonio Silver Stars

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Thu, Aug 7 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2

-30-

E:60 World Cup Special Premieres May 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

e60logo-espn

With less than a month until the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine devotes an entire show to some of the biggest names and best stories in the beautiful game. Features will include a rare interview with Argentina’s superstar Lionel Messi, a profile of perhaps the greatest player of all-time Pelé as he travels across two continents, and the very personal backstory of US Men’s team captain Clint Dempsey. In addition, there will be an investigative pieceby Jeremy Schaap looking into preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Observers estimate that under current conditions, by 2022 over 4,000 workers will die in the effort to build Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure.

Clint Dempsey

When the 2014 World Cup gets underway in Brazil next month, the U.S. men face a difficult group draw and demanding travel schedule.  Their underdog hopes rest largely on the feet and head of 31-year-old captain Clint Dempsey.  But long odds are nothing new to Dempsey, who grew up in a trailer park in east Texas and was motivated at a young age by a family tragedy.  His career has carried him from the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer to Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and back to the MLS with the Seattle Sounders.  Along the way the right-footed midfielder scored 377 goals in 107 appearances and also played for the U.S. in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.  E:60’s Jeremy Schaap tells the inspirational and determined story of Dempsey, who could become the first American to score in three straight World Cups.

Lionel Messi

Arguably the biggest sports star in the world is a soft-spoken 26-year-old Argentine soccer player who stands just over five and half feet tall.  Since Lionel Messi’s career began in 2005 with FC Barcelona his accomplishments have elevated him among the all-time greats. Between 2009 and 2012 he won a record four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards, which goes to the top player in the world.  In 2012 he set a record with 91 goals, breaking a 40-year-old mark.  Messi has won six La Liga championships with Barcelona as well as three Champions League titles.   Yet with all his accomplishments, one has escaped him — a World Cup title.  In both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, Messi was part of a disappointed Argentine squad that exited in the quarterfinals.  Now, Messi’s reputation is on the line as the 2014 World Cup is about to start in Brazil.  E:60’s Jeremy Schaap was granted a rare interview with Messi to discuss a tournament that will go a long ways toward determining his place in history

Qatar

When FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the oil-rich Arab emirate of Qatar, the decision provoked huge controversy. Not only do temperatures soar to 120 degrees in the summer, Qatar has few existing stadiums or infrastructure to host the world’s biggest sporting event.  In its bid, the tiny nation on the Persian Gulf pledged to spend an estimated 220 billion dollars to build air-conditioned new stadiums, a rail and metro system, and other infrastructure.  But it is the human costs of the first World Cup in the Middle East that is the focus of an E:60 investigation. An estimated 4,000 immigrant workers “will die before a ball is kicked off in 2022”, according to a watchdog for workers’ rights.

The richest country in the world per capita, Qatar recruits workers from some of the poorest countries in the world – Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangledesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.  The 1.4 million migrant workers make up 94 percent of the work force in a country with a population of two million.  E:60 traveled to Qatar to investigate the working and living conditions…and to Nepal, where coffins from Qatar arrive almost daily.

Pelé

As Brazil hosts the World Cup this summer, its most familiar and popular ambassador will be Edson Arantes do Nascimento — better known as Pele — the greatest player ever.  Brazil, with Pele, won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970. It’s been nearly four decades since his career, in which he scored 1283 goals in 1367 games, came to an end, yet he remains a global icon.  Now 73, Pele is feted on every continent he visits.  In an E:60 exclusive, Pele talks with Wayne Drehs about the hopes and concerns of his native Brazil as it tries to balance political controversy with futbol in this summer’s World Cup.

-30-

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon Sign New Multi-Year Extensions with ESPN

espn-logoWill remain co-hosts of PTI and continue other roles

Pardon the Interruption co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, two of the most thoughtful and influential voices in sports media, have signed new multi-year extensions to remain with ESPN. The popular duo will continue to host PTI together and contribute to other ESPN platforms.

Kornheiser and Wilbon have co-hosted PTI since its debut on October 17, 2001. Their contentious but good-natured verbal sparring was born from the kinds of conversations they had for years in The Washington Post newsroom as sports columnists and colleagues. The program has grown its ratings and viewership the past decade with its unique, fast-paced, wide-ranging and humorous discussion of the day’s sports news.

PTI has also earned its share of critical acclaim – including the 2009 Sports Emmy Award for Daily Outstanding Studio Show – for the show’s innovative graphic rundown, its quirky segments (i.e., Mail Time, Role Play, Odds Makers), and for identifying on-air miscues in the daily Errors and Omissions.

In addition to PTI, a Kornheiser-Wilbon segment appears daily in the opening minutes of the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. Daily podcasts of the 30-minute PTI also rank among the most popular offerings on both the ESPN PodCenter platform and the Apple iTunes store.

Added John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production and programming: “Tony and Mike have made PTI the most successful show of its kind in sports television. We are excited they will continue to entertain and inform our fans for many years to come.”

Kornheiser, who helped launch ESPN’s Monday Night Football as a booth commentator from 2006-08, will continue on PTI and contribute to SportsCenter. The Tony Kornheiser Show will also continue to be available via ESPN Audio platforms. The popular weekday program on ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C. (10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET) has been a local and national favorite since 1992.

“It is beyond comprehension that Mike and I, who started out as sportswriters and had no idea the direction our careers would take, would be on TV for this long and continue to love the show we do. It is very gratifying that people like our work, and I can only imagine how many more times I’ll get myself in trouble before the contract runs out,” said Kornheiser.

Wilbon, the pioneering sports journalist who expanded his ESPN role in 2011, will continue to be seen and heard across a variety of platforms, particularly on ESPN’s NBA coverage with key interviews and features and as a contributor to on-site coverage of the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Wilbon will also write regular columns for ESPN.com and ESPNChicago.com, and he will appear on other shows and platforms, including SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.

Wilbon added: “I’m beyond thrilled people still love watching PTI, and that ESPN still wants to have us. Doing PTI is as much fun for me now as it was 12 years ago, and contributing to the network’s NBA coverage allows me to do one of the things that has brought me great professional pleasure. I’m a sports junkie, period; I love it all…but professional basketball and the culture of it is something I’ve observed closely and with great passion for 30 years and I can’t imagine professional life without it.”

-30-

ESPN Marks One Month from 2014 FIFA World Cup with Full Slate of Programming

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnPremiere of U.S. Soccer Series and E:60 World Cup Special Highlight Schedule

ESPN’s countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil continues Monday, May 12 – the one-month mark from the tournament’s June 12 kickoff in Sao Paulo – with weeklong programming highlighted by the Tuesday, May 13, premiere of Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Braziland a one-hour E:60 World Cup special.

Inside, a six-episode documentary series from ESPN Films, will focus on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team as it prepares for the upcoming competition. The series, produced by Jonathan Hock and Roger Bennett, will provide a never-before-seen perspective from inside the training camp of the USMNT. Additional information.

Also Tuesday, at 8 p.m. on ESPN, E:60, ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine will devote a full show to the World Cup with:

In addition, two ESPN Deportes series will have new episodes.  Destino Fútbol, a 16-episode documentary series chronicling major story lines in the world of soccer, will continue with “La Escuela de los Sueños.” The episode will air Tuesday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m., with a focus on Santos FC, a soccer club in Phoenix that gives young victims of violence, immigrants and those without a clear path, an opportunity to dream beyond their reality.  The SportsCenter Primera Plana series will air Saturday, May 17, with an edition on Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque (6 p.m.) and a second on Honduras manager Luis F. Suárez (6:30 p.m.). Primera Plana highlights the stories, challenges and anticipation of some of the teams participating in the World Cup through the eyes of their head coaches.

Additional highlights:

  • Live friendly matches:

o    Germany vs. Poland, on Tuesday, May 13 (2:45 p.m., ESPN3)

o    Netherlands vs. Ecuador, on Saturday, May 17 (2:30 p.m., ESPN Deportes/ESPN3)

  • Beginning Monday, May 12, at 7 a.m., ESPN Classic will re-air 21 World Cup, World Cup Qualifying and friendly matches including the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final (Brazil vs. France), the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final (Italy vs. France) and the USA’s thrilling victory against Algeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage.
  • ESPN Classic will also re-air episodes of the 30 for 30: Soccer Stories.

Note: Schedule for ESPN Classic includes first airings only.  Additional airings are scheduled, including the week of May 26.

Date Time (ET) Program Network(s)
Mon, May 12 11 a.m. World Cup Qualifier (10/16/12)
Spain vs. France
ESPN Classic
  1 p.m. 1998 FIFA World Cup Final
Brazil vs. France
ESPN Classic
  3 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (03/22/13)
USA vs. Costa Rica
ESPN Classic
  5 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (03/26/13)
Mexico vs. USA
ESPN Classic
  7 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (06/11/13)
USA vs. Panama
ESPN Classic
  9 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (09/10/13)
USA vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
  11 p.m. World Cup Qualifying Playoff (11/13/13)
Mexico vs. New Zealand
ESPN Classic
Tue, May 13 1 a.m. World Cup Qualifier (11/19/2013)
Sweden vs. Portugal
ESPN Classic
  3 a.m. World Cup Qualifying Playoff (11/20/13)
New Zealand vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
  5 a.m. 30 for 30: Maradona ’86 & The Opposition ESPN Classic
  7 a.m. International Friendly (11/14/12)
Netherlands vs. Germany
ESPN Classic
  9 a.m. International Friendly (03/05/14)
Spain vs. Italy
ESPN Classic
  11 a.m. International Friendly (11/14/12)
Russia vs. USA
ESPN Classic
  1 p.m. International Friendly (03/05/14)
Ukraine vs. USA
ESPN Classic
  2:45 p.m. International Friendly (LIVE)
Germany vs. Poland
ESPN3
  3 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (09/11/12) **
USA vs. Jamaica
ESPN Classic
  5 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (10/12/12) **
Russia vs. Portugal
ESPN Classic
  7 p.m. Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil Episode 1 ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Destino Fútbol: La Escuela de los Sueños ESPN Deportes
  8 p.m. E:60 World Cup Special ESPN
  9 p.m. 2002 World Cup, Round of 16
USA vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
Wed, May 14 5 a.m. 30 for 30: The Myth of Garrincha & Ceasefire Massacre ESPN Classic
Thu, May 15 5 a.m. 30 for 30: Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy & Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry ESPN Classic
  7 a.m. 2010 FIFA World Cup, Group C
USA vs. Algeria
ESPN Classic
Fri, May 16 3 a.m. World Cup Qualifier (03/26/13)
France vs. Spain
ESPN Classic
  5 a.m. 30 for 30: Maradona ’86 & The Opposition ESPN Classic
  7:30 a.m. International Friendly (04/02/14)
USA vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
  9:30 a.m. 1998 FIFA World Cup, Round of 16
Argentina vs. England
ESPN Classic
  4 p.m. 2006 FIFA World Cup Final
Italy vs. France
ESPN Classic
  9 p.m. 30 for 30: Hillsborough ESPN Classic
  11 p.m. 30 for 30: Maradona ’86 & The Opposition ESPN Classic
Sat, May 17 Noon Nine for IX: The ‘99ers ESPN Classic
  1 p.m. 30 for 30: The Two Escobars ESPN Classic
  2:30 p.m. International Friendly (LIVE)
Netherlands vs. Ecuador
ESPN Deportes / ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. Capitales de Fútbol: Brasil – Sao Paulo ESPN Deportes
  6 p.m. SportsCenter Primera Plana: Vicente del Bosque ESPN Deportes
  6:30 p.m. SportsCenter Primera Plana: Luis F. Suárez ESPN Deportes
  7 p.m. Capitales de Fútbol: Brasil – Rio de Janeiro ESPN Deportes
  7:30 p.m. Capitales de Fútbol: Brasil – San Salvador ESPN Deportes

** Second airing

– 30 –

Veteran NFL Reporter Jim Trotter Joins ESPN

Sunday NFL Countdown logoMulti-Platform Role includes Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Insiders, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine
 
Veteran NFL reporter Jim Trotter has joined ESPN. His multi-platform role includes television appearances on Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Insiders, SportsCenter and other programs, as well as writing for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
Trotter’s first ESPN.com story on the NFL Draft posted Monday night. He will make his television debut Monday, May 19, on NFL Insiders (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
On NFL Insiders, Trotter will appear on the show alongside former front office executives and other industry-leading pro football reporters like Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. During the NFL season, Trotter will contribute features and reports for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show. His work on ESPN’s digital and magazine platforms will include both short and long-format pieces.
“Jim is widely respected in NFL circles and will be a tremendous addition to our roster of ESPN experts,” said Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s NFL studio shows. “His outstanding writing will elevate our coverage, in print as well as on television and other areas.”
Added Trotter: “I am honored and humbled to be working with so many talented and passionate people, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead at ESPN.”
Trotter previously worked at Sports Illustrated for six and half years as a senior writer (2007-14). Some of his most memorable stories included a 2012 piece on the Raiders following the death of longtime patriarch Al Davis; a 2007 story on the death of Sean Taylor; and a critical examination of San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium in 2013. Prior to SI, Trotter spent nearly 18 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where he worked his way from preps reporter to lead NFL writer, including nine years covering the Chargers.
 
Trotter, who will continue to reside in San Diego, has appeared on a variety of national and local television and radio programs through the years, even working as an NFL contributor on ESPN’s First Take in the mid 2000’s. He also recently completed his first book, a biography of Junior Seau, tentatively scheduled for release in spring 2015.
Trotter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, as well as the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) and the San Diego chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He graduated from Howard University in 1986 with a degree in broadcast journalism.
 
- 30 -

 

ESPN Extends Rights to MLS and U.S. National Teams

espn-logoEight-Year Agreement Includes FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches; ESPN3 to Carry MLS Out-of-Market Matches

ESPN has reached a comprehensive multimedia agreement with Soccer United Marketing (SUM) for the rights to Major League Soccer and U.S. National Team matches through 2022, announced today by John Skipper, ESPN President and Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and Don Garber, Major League Soccer Commissioner and CEO of Soccer United Marketing.

The eight-year agreement, beginning in 2015, includes English-language rights for the United States National Teams’ FIFA World Cup qualifying matches (men and women) – up to 10 matches per year. ESPN2 will televise 34 regular-season matches as part of the “MLS Game of the Week” series on Sundays at 5 p.m. ET, six playoff MLS matches each year, and the MLS All Star game and the MLS Cup in alternating seasons. ESPN Deportes will also present 34 MLS regular-season and six playoff matches with Spanish-language commentators. As part of the agreement, Fox Sports will offer additional Major League Soccer and US Soccer National Teams’ content on its networks.

Additionally, ESPN3, the multiscreen sports network in more than 92 million homes, will have exclusive rights to carry Major League Soccer matches outside the home markets of participating teams. The out-of-market matches, a popular offering among MLS fans, is currently available only through the MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick packages. ESPN3’s out-of-market telecasts will exclude matches carried by the league’s other national TV partners – FOX Sports and Univision.

“ESPN remains firmly committed to world-class soccer and this agreement underscores our belief that this is an ascendant sports property,” said Skipper. “We are proud to continue our longstanding relationship with MLS and US Soccer, and the broad media rights we have acquired, including enhanced digital rights, will benefit all our platforms.”

Commissioner Garber said: “We are honored to partner with ESPN, FOX and Univision to form the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of soccer in our country.  The commitment from our television partners in terms of structure, length and magnitude is unprecedented, and these new partnerships are another strong indicator of the League’s continued growth and the overall fan interest in our sport.”

ESPN signed its first MLS agreement in 1994 – two years before the league’s debut in 1996 – and has been the primary national television network for Major League Soccer ever since.

Highlights of the agreement:

MLS:

  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 will televise 34 regular-season matches, up from 26
  • ESPN Deportes acquires the rights to carry all 34 ESPN/ESPN2 matches with Spanish-speaking commentators
  • ESPN3 acquires out-of-market rights to more than 200 MLS matches per season
  • ESPN International will have rights to carry all 34 ESPN2 “MLS Game of the Week” series
  • ESPN networks will televise six MLS playoff matches
  • ESPN will televise MLS All Star and MLS Cup in alternating years
  • Extensive media rights for all ESPN media platforms such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC on television and digital platforms, et al, including in-progress highlights
  • ESPN will partner with Soccer United Marketing to create new soccer events for fans

U.S. National Teams:

  • Up to 10 U.S. National Team matches each year featuring the men’s and women’s programs on an ESPN network, including home FIFA World Cup qualifying matches
  • International rights placing U.S. National Team matches on ESPN International networks
  • Extensive media rights for all ESPN media platforms such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC on television and digital platforms, etc.

ESPN and Soccer in the United States:

ESPN is committed to offering comprehensive coverage of the world’s premier soccer events in the United States.  ESPN is the English-language television home – and other languages, except Spanish – in the U.S. for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  The media company is also the English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship through 2016, and a collection of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from UEFA nations – Spain, Germany, France and more.  ESPN’s multimedia platforms also provide extensive coverage of myriad top-tier international leagues and Major League Soccer in the U.S., as well as telecasts of the United States National Team and Mexican National Team matches, including the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, international friendlies, and more.

Through ESPN FC, the company’s multi-language, multi-country and multi-platform soccer brand, ESPN offers fans a comprehensive coverage of soccer across the world. The brand’s digital hub, ESPNFC.com, is the no. 1 soccer-specific site in the U.S., and has expanded to include ESPN FC on TV, a daily global soccer news and information program.

About Soccer United Marketing

Founded in 2002, Soccer United Marketing (SUM) is the preeminent soccer business company in North America. SUM holds the exclusive rights to the most important soccer properties in the region, including: all commercial rights to Major League Soccer; the United States Soccer Federation; promotional and marketing rights to Mexican National Team games played in the United States, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup™. SUM also manages promotional and marketing rights in the United States for Mexico’s most popular sports team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas).

SUM ‘s corporate portfolio also includes MLS Digital Properties, the only soccer advertising network of its kind, covering all facets of the sport in the U.S., and which allows advertisers to reach millions of soccer fans via online advertising and sponsorships campaigns. These global properties are represented by SUM’s slogan: One Sport. One Company.™ For more information, please visit www.SUMworld.com.

– 30 –