ESPN, the US-based pay-TV sports broadcaster, has secured a multi-year rights agreement to stream 65 matches per season from the Copa del Rey, Spanish soccer’s domestic club cup competition, via its ESPN+ over-the-top (OTT) subscription service.
The agreement with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), which took effect in time for the 2019/20 tournament’s second round, adds to the Disney-owned US platform’s growing soccer portfolio.
According to World Soccer Talk, ESPN stepped in after former Qatar-based regional broadcast partner BeIN Sports decided not to renew its Copa del Rey deal.
“Copa del Rey is among the most storied and exciting soccer tournaments in the world, featuring electrifying players and teams,” said ESPN+ executive vice president and general manager Russell Wolff.
“This agreement is a further reflection of ESPN+'s position as a must-have home for world-class soccer in the U.S. and we are thrilled to offer coverage to fans in both English and Spanish.”
ESPN+ is being positioned as a must-have platform for US soccer fans, with the service also home to the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, English soccer’s top two club cup competitions, as well as several top-flight soccer leagues, including the domestic Major League Soccer (MLS), Italy’s Serie A, and the Dutch Eredivisie.
ESPN+ has also announced plans to expand the number of live sports events it makes available each month with Spanish-language commentary. The focus will initially be on the platform’s soccer portfolio, but also include Top Rank boxing and Major League Baseball (MLB). ESPN+ will also now deliver all of its live Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) coverage in both English and Spanish.