ESPN+ FAQ: Answering your soccer questions about new streaming service

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> ESPN has launched a brand-new streaming service that is a bold attempt to generate substantial revenue for what it considers a lot of niche sports that it previously mostly streamed at no additional cost to sports fans who had access to ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Since it’s so new and different, there’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace, which is why we’ve collated all of your questions from the website and social media during the past two weeks and created this FAQ that will hopefully clue everyone in. If not, just post your question in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to answer it. The FAQ is so long that we’ve spread it across several pages, so be sure to click on the next page button near the bottom of every page. Here goes: Q: What is ESPN+? A: ESPN+ is a new paid-subscription streaming Continue reading "ESPN+ FAQ: Answering your soccer questions about new streaming service"

ESPN+ is another smack in the face for soccer fans

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ESPN recently revealed what will be included as part of their April 12 launch of ESPN+ and there is cause to be concerned

Among the highlights: the price of $49.99 per year, out-of-market MLS broadcasts, UEFA Nations League, the Championship, the EFL Cup and a World Cup show called The Last Train to Russia that will be exclusive to the OTT (over-the-top) service. As great as this product seems, it reminds me of another $50 service launched in 2017. Every Premier League match was available for free using your cable provider authentication in the NBC Sports App as of 2016. This included the incredibly entertaining Goal Rush broadcast. A year later, NBCSN decided to make this service worth $50 per season on top of your regular cable subscription. With NBC Sports Gold, NBCSN pushed their broadcasts further into the Internet abyss, making less popular Premier League clubs even harder Continue reading "ESPN+ is another smack in the face for soccer fans"

ESPN Plus’ niche audiences could help increase MLS exposure

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Self-dubbed as the “Netflix for sports,” ESPN Plus, a new streaming service from Disney is set to make its debut this spring. Beyond the recycling nomenclature once used by ESPN to brand syndicated college sports broadcasts on regional sports networks and local over-the-air channel, this concept is entirely new. The service will cost just $4.99 a month, but serves as a hybrid of sorts — giving access to ESPN and ESPN programming if you have a cable or satellite subscription to those channels, but also offering a slew of niche sports which are exclusively available via ESPN Plus but don’t require a cable/satellite subscription. With declining ad revenue and subscriptions to cable, Disney seems to have little choice but to launch this service, though it appears its appeal may be more to followers of non NFL, NBA or MLB-based content on the ESPN networks. As cord-cutting continues and Disney’s losses
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ESPN to broadcast League Cup final between Man City and Arsenal on US TV

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> The 2017/18 League Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester City has been moved to the ESPN flagship network in a big boost for soccer fans in the United States. The match, will be shown live from Wembley Stadium in England, was originally scheduled to air only on ESPN Deportes. But now that ESPN has decided to elevate the game to its major network, it means that the League Cup final will be available on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes. This year’s League Cup final, which is also known as the Carabao Cup, will be televised live on Sunday, February 25 at 11:30am ET. In previous rounds when select League Cup games were shown on ESPN2, the commentators for ESPN were Mark Donaldson and Craig Burley. No news yet who ESPN will select to announce the game. Manchester City defeated Bristol City over two legs in the semi-final to reach Wembley,
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ESPN could be go-to network for World Cup analysis instead of rights holder FOX Sports

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> For immediate analysis on TV after the FIFA World Cup Draw wrapped up on December 1, soccer fans in the United States had several choices to choose from. For most of them, the easiest way was to continue watching the coverage on FOX Sports 1. However, the viewers “voted” by watching the analysis on a completely different network — one that doesn’t even have the rights to the FIFA 2018 World Cup. The World Cup Draw wrap-up show on ESPN2 was watched by more viewers than the Draw itself on FS1. And importantly, ESPN2’s broadcast doubled the viewership from FS1’s post draw analysis show. On FOX, besides the commentary regarding “under-the radar” players by Landon Donovan and Alexi Lalas (both of whom ironically picked guys from Liverpool who are nowhere near under the radar for the average Premier League viewer), nothing of real cutting-edge insight was discussed. In contrast, the ESPNFC
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MLS audience jumps 38% for MLS Cup Playoffs across ESPN and ESPN2

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Buoyed by the increased interest in watching MLS games because of the Columbus Crew controversy, ESPN’s audience for the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs is up 38 percent entering this weekend’s MLS Cup Final. The seven playoff matches on ESPN and ESPN2 to date have delivered an average audience of 343,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, up from 249,000 viewers for the six playoff matches in 2016. It is ESPN’s most-viewed MLS Cup Playoffs since 2014 (344,000 viewers). Five of the seven matches on ESPN networks were the most-viewed MLS Cup Playoff games on national television in 2017, led by first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship – Columbus Crew SC vs. New York City FC – on Tuesday, Oct. 31. That match averaged 426,000 viewers. Additionally, the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs on ESPN/ESPN2 in 2017 have delivered significant increases across key demos: · Viewership in the coveted men 18-34 demo is
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beIN SPORTS out and ESPN/BAMTech in for Championship TV rights, says source

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> EXCLUSIVE: In a stunning turn of events, beIN SPORTS has removed all of the opening EFL Championship weekend matches from their schedule, and it appears that ESPN/BAMTech is the frontrunner to acquire the rights in the United States. According to a spokesperson for beIN SPORTS, the source confirmed that “beIN SPORTS USA no longer holds the rights to the EFL Championship or Carabao Cup.” The Carabao Cup is the new sponsor’s name for the League Cup, also known as EFL Cup. At the same time, a World Soccer Talk source confirmed that ESPN/BAMTech is close to acquiring the rights to the EFL Championship and EFL Cup. The 2017/18 Championship season begins Friday, August 4. The confusion arose last week when beIN SPORTS confirmed they were planning on broadcasting the opening weekend of the Championship across both television and their beIN SPORTS Connect streaming platform. But according to beIN SPORTS
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beIN SPORTS out and ESPN/BAMTech in for Championship TV rights, says source

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> EXCLUSIVE: In a stunning turn of events, beIN SPORTS has removed all of the opening EFL Championship weekend matches from their schedule, and it appears that ESPN/BAMTech is the frontrunner to acquire the rights in the United States. According to a spokesperson for beIN SPORTS, the source confirmed that “beIN SPORTS USA no longer holds the rights to the EFL Championship or Carabao Cup.” The Carabao Cup is the new sponsor’s name for the League Cup, also known as EFL Cup. At the same time, a World Soccer Talk source confirmed that ESPN/BAMTech is close to acquiring the rights to the EFL Championship and EFL Cup. The 2017/18 Championship season begins Friday, August 4. The confusion arose last week when beIN SPORTS confirmed they were planning on broadcasting the opening weekend of the Championship across both television and their beIN SPORTS Connect streaming platform. But according to beIN SPORTS
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ESPN scores 1.7 million viewers for el Clásico Miami between Barcelona and Real Madrid

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> ESPN’s live coverage of the first el Clásico to be played on US soil between Barcelona and Real Madrid delivered 1.7 million viewers last Saturday. The match, billed as el Clásico Miami and part of the 2017 International Champions Cup, was shown live across ESPN in English and ESPN 2/ESPN Deportes in Spanish. With an audience of 836,000, the Real Madrid–FC Barcelona match is the most watched non-U.S. international friendly match ever on ESPN – topping the previous high, an international match between Mexico and Argentina on September 8, 2015, seen by 724,000 viewers. It’s also the most-watched soccer match telecast on ESPN networks since last summer’s UEFA EURO 2016 in France. The Spanish-language telecast on ESPN Deportes and ESPN2 averaged 692,000 Hispanic viewers. With more than 1.7 million viewers, the Barcelona-Real Madrid match was the most-watched English-language soccer broadcast of the weekend. More than 600,000 tuned Continue reading "ESPN scores 1.7 million viewers for el Clásico Miami between Barcelona and Real Madrid"

ESPN scores 1.7 million viewers for el Clásico Miami between Barcelona and Real Madrid

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> ESPN’s live coverage of the first el Clásico to be played on US soil between Barcelona and Real Madrid delivered 1.7 million viewers last Saturday. The match, billed as el Clásico Miami and part of the 2017 International Champions Cup, was shown live across ESPN in English and ESPN 2/ESPN Deportes in Spanish. With an audience of 836,000, the Real Madrid–FC Barcelona match is the most watched non-U.S. international friendly match ever on ESPN – topping the previous high, an international match between Mexico and Argentina on September 8, 2015, seen by 724,000 viewers. It’s also the most-watched soccer match telecast on ESPN networks since last summer’s UEFA EURO 2016 in France. The Spanish-language telecast on ESPN Deportes and ESPN2 averaged 692,000 Hispanic viewers. With more than 1.7 million viewers, the Barcelona-Real Madrid match was the most-watched English-language soccer broadcast of the weekend. More than 600,000 tuned Continue reading "ESPN scores 1.7 million viewers for el Clásico Miami between Barcelona and Real Madrid"

Review of George Best – All by Himself, ESPN’s 30 For 30 soccer masterpiece

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Like many soccer fans, I have been frustrated that despite the constant flow of excellent ESPN 30 for 30 films, so few have had any content related to our sport. As someone who spends very little time watching sports other than soccer, the 30 for 30 series has been enlightening and educational about topics I generally have little interest in. Therefore it goes without saying the excitement I and many other soccer fans had upon hearing the news about the latest 30 for 30 focusing on the life of the late great George Best. But hasn’t the George Best story been told over and over? What more could we learn from a documentary on Best that we didn’t know already? Would this simply be a documentary for the masses who don’t know much about the Northern Ireland international or the lifestyle he lived? Or would it have a unique angle
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ESPN to televise Arsenal, Dortmund, Bayern, Lyon and Milan games from International Champions Cup China

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> This summer’s International Champions Cup tournament in China will feature Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Lyon and Inter Milan, with all of the games televised across a myriad of ESPN networks. The six teams will clash in four contests in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Nanjing in this July. It’s the 3rd consecutive year the world’s leading pre-season soccer tournament to take place in China. SEE MORE: Schedule of International Champions Cup games on US TV and streaming The schedule of matches are as follows (all times Eastern; TV listings are subject to change):   Tuesday, July 18, 2017 AC Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund (International Champions Cup China), 7:45am, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes and Sling Latino (free trial)   Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich (International Champions Cup China), 8am, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3 and Sling Orange (free 7-day trial)   Saturday, July 22, 2017 Bayern Munich vs. AC
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ESPN to televise Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Inter matches from International Champions Cup Singapore

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Fans of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan need to circle their calendars for late July as all of their matches from the 2017 International Champions Cup tournament in Singapore will be shown in the United States via a range of ESPN networks. Scheduled to take place at the National Stadium July 25-29, the ICC Singapore will feature Chelsea FC, FC Bayern and FC Internazionale in a round-robin three-match tournament. The fixtures in July will mark the first time top-flight European teams play each other in Singapore, which is the only country in Southeast Asia to host a leg of the annual tournament for the next four years (2017–2020). SEE MORE: Schedule of International Champions Cup games on US TV and streaming The schedule of matches are as follows (all times Eastern; TV listings are subject to change):   Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich (International Champions Cup
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ESPN reaps benefits of FOX and NBC’s indifference to International Champions Cup TV rights

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> A little over one year ago, it appeared that Relevent Sports’ Charlie Stillitano and Stephen Ross had overshot the runway. They had “gambled in overvaluing their product and had lost badly” went the narrative. While International Champions Cup executives wouldn’t confirm it, reports indicated that FOX Sports declined to renew its TV deal with ICC, and that NBC Sports wasn’t very interested in the property. It was left to ESPN to pick up the pieces and to put in a lower bid just to ensure that the tournament would have a “home” on US sports television. At the time last year when Relevent Sports shopped the International Champions Cup TV rights to NBC Sports and ESPN, the timing couldn’t have been worse. Sports TV rights had been hit financially. Networks such as ESPN had been stretched dollar-wise by long-term college sports deals. Add to that the escalating cost of pro sports rights while
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ESPN to televise 2017 International Champions Cup including Barcelona-Real Madrid game

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For viewers in the United States, the 2017 International Champions Cup will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN2, which will include the highly-anticipated game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on Saturday, July 29 — the first time ever el Clasico has been played in the United States.

Out of the 12 games in the 2017 International Champions Cup, eight of them will be shown live on ESPN. The remaining four will be shown on ESPN2.

While Barcelona and Real Madrid are the first two clubs that have been officially announced as 2017 International Champions Cup participants, we’re also expecting Manchester United, Juventus and Manchester City to be revealed in the coming weeks as well as other clubs.

ESPN acquired the TV and streaming rights to the International Champions Cup in 2016 after FOX Sports reportedly were uninterested in renewing the rights.

SEE MORE: Schedule of summer friendlies to be played Continue reading "ESPN to televise 2017 International Champions Cup including Barcelona-Real Madrid game"

Tommy Smyth says farewell to ESPN after 24 years

Whether you like or dislike Tommy Smyth’s soccer analysis, there’s no doubt that he’s been an important part of the history of soccer on US television. Sadly, today was his last day at ESPN. Smyth, who is most famous for his catchphrase “Bulge in the old onion bag,” bid farewell to ESPN today after a career than spanned 24 years at the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader of Sports. Smyth will continue his radio work at Sirius XM FC (The Grumpy Pundits show with Rodney Marsh) as well as co-commentary for the Philadelphia Union TV broadcasts. For many soccer fans in the United States, his time alongside Derek Rae on the UEFA Champions League broadcasts in the early 2000s was a memorable highlight. His chemistry with Rae as well as Smyth’s excitement and passion for the sport seeped through the television set in very formative years for soccer on US television. Two Continue reading "Tommy Smyth says farewell to ESPN after 24 years"

2017 MLS TV schedule features plenty of changes to disrupt consistent TV windows

Major League Soccer has announced TV coverage plans for the 2017 season, which will include plenty of changes that will disrupt the consistent television windows that fans have only recently become adjusted to after the 2016 season. In the 2016 season, the vast majority of MLS games had consistent television windows where many Friday night games were on UniMas, Saturday games were on MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick and Sunday games featured an early afternoon match on ESPN followed by Sunday night games on FS1. Most of that is thrown out the window for 2017 with ESPN and UniMas, in particular, making significant changes. In 2017, MLS fans will need to more carefully scrutinize the MLS TV schedules in order to find out where to watch games on TV or streaming. By reviewing the MLS TV schedule for 2017, the most noticeable change is that ESPN won’t be broadcasting as
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Ranking the best soccer broadcasters on television

soccer-broadcasters World Soccer Talk has ranked the best commentators, co-commentators, studio analysts and presenters from world soccer. Up until now, each of the categories was separated, but we’ve decided to combine the best presenters and soccer analysts in order to compile a list of the best soccer broadcasters on television. With the ranking being based on presenters and soccer analysts, it gives us the best idea of which broadcasters have the best studio talent available in world soccer. We didn’t factor in the commentators and co-commentators because so many of them work for several different broadcasters. To compile the list of best soccer broadcasters, we took the presenter and studio analyst lists. And then we awarded each individual listing based on 10 points for first place, 9 points for second place, and so on until the tenth place received 1 point. We did this for both Kartik Krishnaiyer and
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Top 10 soccer commentators

commentator-gantry For soccer fans who watch a ton of matches each week, many of us have our own favorite soccer commentators — the ones we look forward to listening to, the ones that give us a thrill when we hear their voices on television. After watching thousands of matches, both World Soccer Talk Senior Writer Kartik Krishnaiyer and I have compiled our lists of the top 10 commentators in the business. Here are the top 10 soccer commentators in the business: Kartik Krishnaiyer’s top 10 commentators: 10. Peter Drury 9. Andres Cantor 8. JP Dellacamera 7. Ian Darke 6. Steve Bower 5. Phil Schoen 4. John Strong 3. Martin Tyler 2. Jon Champion 1. Derek Rae   SEE MORE: • Top 10 soccer co-commentators • Top 10 soccer studio analysts   Christopher Harris’ top 10 commentators: 10. Dave Farrar 9. JP Dellacamera 8. Andres Cantor 7. Steve Bower 6. John Strong 5.
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