So The Gaffer at EPLTalk broke the story last week that ESPN2 would be carrying Premier League games in the USA. They’ve already scooped up all of Setanta’s games in the UK, and fretting over their potential blundering of the coverage has become a pastime of its own across the pond.
Beautiful or ugly?
Meanwhile, part of Setanta’s EPL package in the US was actually sub-licensed from FOX, namely the 7:45am ET Saturday game and the 3pm ET Monday game. That package has been removed from Setanta’s US listings and was precisely what The Gaffer’s sources said would be part of ESPN2. But ESPN has made no official announcement of Premier League games being shown on their network in the US, and now the Orlando Sentinel has received this terse reply to an inquiry about it:
ESPN has not acquired the rights to EPL matches in the U.S.
So that’s odd. Setanta lost the FOX licensed games, but ESPN claims they haven’t picked them up. The Gaffer has a long history of getting these things right, but if this were true, you’d think ESPN would want to promote the Chelsea-Hull City game this Saturday that’d be part of the package. That game features one of the most popular teams in the US and another that just added a US striker to its roster.
ESPN2 may not be “native” to soccer, but if they showed Premier Games in HD, I’d listen to babies screaming. I’d listen to nails on the chalkboard. I’d listen to Andy Gray.