Sports

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Soccer on ESPN

Soccer on ESPN is a number of programs that currently airs Association football matches in the United States. These matches are from International, European, and American competitions.[1]

Current Programming

England

EFL

ESPN airs all matches from the EFL Championship, EFL League One, EFL League Two, and Carabao Cup on paid streaming service ESPN+ with select matches on ESPN or ESPN2. This broadcast started in 2017.[2]

FA Cup

ESPN airs all matches from the FA Cup on paid streaming service ESPN+ with select matches on ESPN and ESPN2. This broadcast started in 2018 when FOX Sports coverage of the tournament expired.[3]

FA Community Shield

ESPN also airs the annual FA Community Shield on ESPN+.[4]

Germany

Bundesliga

ESPN won the rights to the Bundesliga starting with the season. Majority of matches will air on ESPN+ with at least four matches per year airing on the linear TV channels.[5]

DFL-Supercup

As with the Bundesliga, ESPN will air the yearly DFL-Supercup starting in August 2020.

DFB-Pokal

ESPN also air the German domestic cup, the DFB Pokal.[6] Matches usually air on ESPNEWS and ESPN3. Linear TV commentary is provided by Adrian Healey.

Italy

Serie A

In 2018, ESPN won the rights for Italy's Serie A when BeIN Sports' contract expired. ESPN is set to air over 340 matches each season, with a Game of the Week on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNews and the rest of the matches on streaming service ESPN+. There is also a weekly preview and highlight show on ESPN+.[7] ESPN uses its own broadcast teams for games shown on television - commentary is provided by play-by-play Mark Donaldson and analyst Matteo Bonetti - with all other matches each week shown on ESPN+. Ross Dyer and Steve Cangialosi fill-in when Donaldson is working MLB. Commentary for matches on ESPN+ is taken from the World Feed. ESPN FC provides viewers with Serie A analysis show The Serie Awesome Podcast with Italian football writers Gabriele Marcotti, Mina Rzouki, and James Horncastle.

USA

MLS

ESPN currently airs MLS matches on ESPN and ESPN2 in a contract from 2015-2022. ABC will only air the MLS Cup in odd-numbered years since 2019. ESPN also airs all out-of-market games on ESPN+. Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman are the lead broadcast team. (See ESPN Major League Soccer).[8]

USL

ESPN airs all matches from the USL on ESPN+ with select matches on ESPNews or ESPN U.[9] Commentary is provided by Mike Watts and Devon Kerr.

NWSL

ESPN has full exclusive rights to the NWSL. Normally, the network airs one match per weekend on ESPNEWS or ESPN2. They also bring viewers coverage of the playoffs and final, which will air on the main ESPN network.

International

ESPN airs matches from the UEFA Euros, UEFA Nations League, UEFA qualifying competitions, and UEFA friendlies. These matches will be on all ESPN owned channels.[10] Friendlies or qualifiers are regularly commentated by play-by-play men Adrian Healey, Mark Donaldson, and Ross Dyer. Analysts include: Craig Burley, Kasey Keller, Paul Mariner, and Janusz Michallik. Higher profile matches are commentated by Jon Champion and Ian Darke with analysts Stewart Robson, Steve McManaman, and Taylor Twellman. Through their deal with the MLS, ESPN shares the rights for USMNT and USWNT matches with Fox Sports. For men's matches Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman commentate with Kasey Keller as a fill-in game analyst or pre-game analyst. The women's matches are commentated by Glenn Davis or Ian Darke alongside analyst Julie Foudy.

International Champions Cup

ESPN airs summer friendly competition International Champions Cup on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.

Former Programming

Premier League

ESPN2 formerly aired matches from the Premier League between 1996–1998, and the from 2010–2013. From 2010–2013, ESPN2 had its own commentary team live in England. Ian Darke and Steve McManaman called the action live in England, with Darrell Currie, Dave Beckett, or Alicia Ferguson reporting pitchside. On occasion, the network would simulcast ESPN UK's coverage with full studio coverage from host Ray Stubbs or Rebecca Lowe and commentary from Jon Champion and Chris Waddle. In the U.S., ESPN's studio team was host Andrew Orsatti or Georgie Bingham with analyst Robbie Mustoe.

UEFA Champions League

ESPN formerly had the rights of the UEFA Champions League between 1995-2009. Lead commentary team was Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth with the ESPN2 team being Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe. The pre-match programme was hosted by Andrew Orsatti.

World Cup

ESPN formerly held the rights to the FIFA World Cup in 1986 and between 1994-2014. Commentary teams are listed below.

On-air Personalities

Play-by-play announcers

NameCoverageNotes
Ian DarkeInternational Matches
United States men's national soccer team
United States women's national soccer team
Lead play-by-play announcer
Jon ChampionMLS
International Matches
MLS lead play-by-play announcer
Adrian HealeyInternational Matches
MLS
Derek RaeInternational Matches
Glenn DavisInternational Matches
MLS
United States women's national soccer team
NWSL
MLS #2 play-by-play announcer
Mark DonaldsonSerie A
International Matches
Serie A lead play-by-play announcer
Dan P. KellyMLSMLS #4 play-by-play announcer
Steve CangialosiMLSMLS #3 play-by-play announcer
Jenn HildrethNWSLNWSL lead play-by-play announcer
Ross DyerInternational Matches
Serie A

Color commentators

NameCoverageNotes
Steve McManamanInternational Matches
ESPN FC
Lead color commentator
Taylor TwellmanMLS
USMNT
International Matches
MLS and USMNT lead color commentator
Kasey KellerMLS
International Matches
Craig BurleyInternational Matches
Stewart RobsonInternational Matches
Alejandro MorenoMLS
Julie FoudyMLS
USWNT
Lead USWNT color commentator
Brian DunsethMLSMLS color commentator
Paul MarinerInternational Matches
Matteo BonettiSerie ASerie A lead color commentator
Aly WagnerNWSLNWSL lead color commentator
Angela HuclesNWSL

Studio host

NameCoverageNotes
Steve BowerInternational Matches
Dan ThomasESPN FCLead ESPN FC Studio host
Sebastian SalazarMLS
ESPN FC
Adrian HealeyMLS
ESPN FC
Lead MLS presenter
Mark DonaldsonESPN FC
Ross DyerESPN FC
Alexis NunesESPN FC

Studio analyst

NameCoverageNotes
Steve McManamanInternational Matches
ESPN FC
Lead Color commentator
Taylor TwellmanMLS
International Matches
MLS lead Color commentator
Kasey KellerMLS
International Matches
MLS lead studio analyst
Craig BurleyInternational Matches
ESPN FC
Michael BallackInternational Matches
Julien LaurensESPN FCWriter
Don HutchisonESPN FC
International Matches
Gabriele MarcottiESPN FCWriter
James HorncastleESPN FCWriter
Mina RzoukiESPN FCWriter
Frank LeboeufESPN FC
International Matches
Mark OgdenESPN FCWriter
Santiago SolariESPN FC
International Matches
Peter WaltonInternational Matches
ESPN FC
Rules Analyst
Alejandro MorenoMLS
ESPN FC
MLS lead studio analyst
Steve NicolESPN FC
Janusz MichallikESPN FC
Shaka HislopESPN FC
Herculez GomezMLS
ESPN FC
MLS studio analyst

Past International Coverage and Broadcast Teams

1970 World Cup

This was the first World Cup on ABC featuring commentary from legendary broadcaster Jim McKay.

1982 World Cup

Coverage was led by Bob Ley alongside analyst Seamus Malin. (See List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters)

1986 World Cup

JP Dellacamera was the play-by-play announcer alongside color commentators Seamus Malin and Shep Messing. Remaining matches were called by the World Feed. (See List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters)

1994 World Cup

The 1994 World Cup marked the return of the World Cup on ESPN and ABC and the first time they used their own commentary teams for all matches. Roger Twibell was the play-by-play announcer. Other play-by-play announcers were: Bob Carpenter, Bob Ley, Ian Darke, Randy Hahn, and Jim Donovan. Seamus Malin and Rick Davis were the lead color commentators. Other color commentators were: Clive Charles, Ty Keough, Peter Vermes, Ron Newman, and Bill McDermott. Jim McKay was the studio host alongside studio analyst Desmond Armstrong. (See List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters)

1998 World Cup

Bob Ley and Seamus Malin wast the lead broadcast team with other broadcast teams include: Roger Twibell and Mike Hill, JP Dellacamera and Bill McDermott, Derek Rae and Ty Keough, and Phil Schoen and Tommy Smyth. Brent Musburger and Eric Wynalda worked in the studio. (See List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters)

2002 World Cup

Hockey play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards led the commentary teams in South Korea alongside analyst Ty Keough. Other broadcast teams were: JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth, Glenn Davis and Shep Messing, and Mike Hill and Shep Messing, and Seamus Malin. Terry Gannon hosted in the studio alongside studio analysts Eric Wynalda and Giorgio Chinaglia. (See List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters)

2006 World Cup

Lead MLS and MLB play-by-play announcer Dave O'Brien and color commentator Marcelo Balboa worked as the lead broadcast teams in Germany with other broadcast teams: JP Dellacamera and John Harkes, Glenn Davis and Shep Messing, Adrian Healey and Tommy Smyth, and Rob Stone and Robin Fraser. Brent Musburger returned for his 2nd World Cup as lead studio host with other hosts Rece Davis, and Dave Revsine. Studio analysts in the studio were: Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Julie Foudy, and Heather Mitts. (See List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters)

Euro 2008

Following controversy over ESPN's "American" commentary teams, the network decided to use more traditional coverage by tapping Adrian Healey and Andy Gray or Robbie Mustoe to be its lead broadcast team. ESPN also tapped Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth to be its #2 broadcast team.[11][12]

2009 Confederations Cup

Rece Davis and Alexi Lalas worked in the studio during the 2009 Confederations Cup. ESPN tapped MLS on ESPN's lead broadcast team of JP Dellacamera and John Harkes to be its lead broadcast team, Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth to be its #2 broadcast team, and Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe to be its #3 broadcast team. [13]

2010 World Cup

ESPN's coverage of the 2010 World Cup has been widely recognized as a breakthrough in US soccer broadcasting.[14] Esteemed commentator Martin Tyler led a team of all-British commentators in South Africa, Chris Fowler and Mike Tirico were the lead hosts in a studio set right outside of Soccer City in South Africa. Other commentators were: Ian Darke, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey, and Jim Proudfoot. Efan Ekoku was the lead color commentator, John Harkes called USMNT games, alongside other color commentators include: Ally McCoist, Roberto Martinez, and Robbie Mustoe. Analysts in the studio included: Steve McManaman, Jurgen Klinsmann, Roberto Martinez, Ruud Gullit, Alexi Lalas, Shaun Bartlett, and Tommy Smyth. Bob Ley was another studio host, working his 4th World Cup. Reporters were: Jeremy Schaap (USA and Final), Julie Foudy, Allen Hopkins, Rob Stone, Selema Masekela, Andrew Orsatti (Australia), John Sutcliffe (Mexico), and [15] (South Africa).

Euro 2012

Ian Darke and Steve McManaman were the lead commentary team for ESPN. The studio team was based at headquarters in Bristol. Studio hosts were Bob Ley and Rebecca Lowe. Other broadcast team were: Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe, and Derek Rae and Kasey Keller or Taylor Twellman. Studio analysts were: Michael Ballack, Alexi Lalas, Kasey Keller, Taylor Twellman, and Tommy Smyth. Special contributors, who were live from Poland and Ukraine, were Glenn Hoddle and Roberto Martinez. Reporters included are: Alicia Ferguson and Darrell Currie.[16]

2013 Confederations Cup

Bob Ley hosted in the studio alongside analysts Steve McManaman, Alexi Lalas, Roberto Martinez, and Michael Ballack. Ian Darke and Stewart Robson was the lead broadcast team. and Alejandro Moreno was the secondary broadcast team. Adrian Healey and Kasey Keller was the #3 broadcast team. [17]

2014 World Cup

The 2014 World Cup marked the end of the FIFA World Cup on ABC and ESPN. Ian Darke and Steve McManaman was the lead broadcast team, Jon Champion and Stewart Robson were the #2 team. Other play-by-play announcers were: Derek Rae, Adrian Healey, Daniel Mann, and Fernando Palomo. Color commentators: Taylor Twellman, Craig Burley, Efan Ekoku, Roberto Martínez, Kasey Keller, and Alejandro Moreno. All commentators were in Brazil with the top 5 teams at the stadiums while the remaining team called matches off monitors in Rio. Mike Tirico was the lead studio host alongside other hosts Bob Ley and Lynsey Hipgrave with analysts: Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman, Michael Ballack, Alejandro Moreno, Kasey Keller, Gilberto Silva, Santiago Solari, Roberto Martínez, Taylor Twellman, and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Reporters included: Jeremy Schaap (Lead), Julie Foudy, Bob Woodruff, John Sutcliffe, Rubens Pozzi. [18]

Euro 2016

ESPN was live in France with a set on the River Seine. Mike Tirico, Steve Bower, and Bob Ley hosted. Ian Darke returned as the lead play-by-play announcer. Other play-by-play announcers were: Jon Champion, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey, Max Bretos, and Mark Donaldson. Color commentators: Steve McManaman, Taylor Twellman, Stewart Robson, Kasey Keller, Kate Markgraf, and Alejandro Moreno. Studio analysts were: Craig Burley, Santiago Solari, Vincent Kompany, Steve McManaman, Taylor Twellman, Julie Foudy, Roberto Martinez, Frank Leboeuf, Michael Ballack, and Kasey Keller. Jeremy Schaap, Marty Smith, and Alison Bender were reporters.[19]

Euro 2020

Euro 2020 is set to be broadcast live by ABC (5 matches), ESPN (39 matches including Final), and ESPN2 (7 matches). This is the first time since 2008 that ABC broadcast the European Championships free-to-air.[20] The broadcast team is yet to be announced.

References

  1. ^ "ESPN Soccer Schedule". August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "ESPN to broadcast English Football League games in U.S. this season". August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "ESPN+ Becomes Exclusive Presenter of Emirates FA Cup in U.S. Through New Rights Agreement". August 15, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "Chelsea vs. Manchester City Community Shield Match to Air Exclusively on ESPN+". August 3, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "ESPN+ To Be The U.S. Home For Bundesliga, Beginning August 2020". ESPN Press Room. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Marquee Weekend of Soccer across ESPN Platforms". ESPN Press Room. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Serie A Entering Multi-Year Broadcast Deal With ESPN, ESPN+ Starting This Season". August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "ESPN's 20th Season of Major League Soccer". February 26, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "USL ON ESPN SCHEDULE". August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Soccer Fans Rejoice: Hundreds of Matches and Exclusive Content to be Available on ESPN+". April 6, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "ESPN Scores with Euro 2008". Multichannel.com.
  12. ^ "The Sins of American Sportscasting". NYTimes.com. 2006-06-26.
  13. ^ Youtube.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDnYv5FgFPw. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "ESPN Presentation of 2010 FIFA World Cup Earns Industry Honors". ESPN Press Room. 2011-06-02.
  15. ^ "Dan Williams". ESPN. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  16. ^ "ESPN Inc. At UEFA EURO 2012". ESPN Press Room. 2012-06-07.
  17. ^ "ESPN Announces Commentators and Pundits for 2013 Confederations Cup". World Soccer Talk. 2013-06-12.
  18. ^ "ESPN TV and Radio Commentators for 2014 FIFA World Cup, Week 1 (Through June 19)". ESPN Press Room. 2014-06-09.
  19. ^ "ESPN Inc. At UEFA EURO 2012". ESPNpressroom.com. 2012-06-07.
  20. ^ "ESPN and ABC Present UEFA European Football Championship 2020". espnpressroom.com. ESPN Press Room. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

External links

Sports
28 September 2019