ESPN will begin its fourth straight season of televising England’s Barclays Premier League action in the United States on Saturday, August 18, at 9:50 a.m. ET, with the live presentation of Arsenal vs. Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in North London on ESPN, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes. ESPN’s lead soccer voice Ian Darke and analyst Steve McManaman, both returning for the third season calling ESPN’s Premier League matches from site, will call Saturday’s season opener, joined on the sidelines by reporter Alicia Ferguson. Fernando Palomo and Tato Noriega will provide Spanish-language commentary on ESPN Deportes.
Beginning Saturday, Aug. 18, through Monday, Nov. 5, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will combine to present 15 live Premier League matches including appearances by the top-tier teams such as European champions Chelsea, current league title holders Manchester City, England’s most-successful team Manchester United, and last season’s top-five finishers Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The Premier League matches will be available via WatchESPN.
Top five ESPN Premier League matches (through Nov. 5):
- Saturday, Nov. 3 – Manchester United vs. Arsenal: The first match of the season between legendary managers Sir. Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) at Old Trafford Stadium is also the first meeting between the clubs since Arsenal sold its captain Robbie van Persie to Manchester United.
- Saturday, Oct. 27 – Everton vs. Liverpool: The season’s first leg of Merseyside derby, the match between the two most-successful teams in Liverpool, England. It is the longest-running top-flight derby in the country.
- Saturday, Oct. 20 – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea: First match between the two London clubs since Chelsea’s improbable European cup victory last season knocked the Hotspur and U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel out of a Champions League spot. The match will also mark the first time manager André Villas-Boas will face his former club Chelsea.
- Saturday, Sept. 29 – Arsenal vs. Chelsea: The first match between two top clubs in London after Chelsea gained bragging rights last season as the first London club to win the UEFA Champions League title.
- Saturday, Aug. 18 – Arsenal vs. Sunderland: ESPN’s season-opener will offer fans in the U.S. a first look at one of the league’s premier teams caught in the middle of losing key players over the past two seasons – namely, Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Samir Nasri (Manchester City) and Gäel Clichy (Manchester City) in 2011; and team captain Robbie van Persie (Manchester United) in 2012.
2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League schedule on ESPN (through November 5):
|Date||Time (ET)||Fixture (home vs. away)||Networks|
|Sat, Aug 18||9:50 a.m.||Arsenal vs. Sunderland||ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Mon, Aug 20||2:55 p.m.||Everton vs. Manchester United||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Wed, Aug 22||2:30 p.m.||Chelsea vs. Reading||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Aug 25||7:30 a.m.||Swansea City vs. West Ham United||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Sept 1||7:30 a.m.||West Ham United vs. Fulham||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Sept 15||7:40 a.m.||Norwich City vs. West Ham United||ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Mon, Sept 17||2:55 p.m.||Everton vs. Newcastle||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Sept 22||7:30 a.m.||Swansea City vs. Everton||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Sept 29||7:30 a.m.||Arsenal vs. Chelsea||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Mon, Oct 1||2:55 p.m.||Queens Park Rangers vs. West Ham United||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Oct 6||7:30 a.m.||Manchester City vs. Sunderland||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Oct 20||7:30 a.m.||Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Oct 27||7:30 a.m.||Everton vs. Liverpool||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Sat, Nov 3||8:30 a.m.||Manchester United vs. Arsenal||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
|Mon, Nov 5||2:55 p.m.||West Bromwich Albion vs. Southampton||ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes|
Entering its fourth season, ESPN is carrying the Barclays Premier League in the U.S. as part of a sub-license agreement with Fox Sports International. ESPN2 was also the English-language television home for the league’s Monday night matches in 1996–97 and 1997-98.
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