ESPN has secured the rights in the US to Serie A, Italian club soccer’s top flight.
The exclusive, multi-year deal will see more than 340 matches per season shown on ESPN+, the sports broadcasting giant’s new over-the-top (OTT) streaming service.
The rights package includes an average of nine live matches per week on ESPN+ from August through May. Meanwhile, a Serie A ‘Match of the Week’ will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2, accounting for close to 40 games per season. The matches will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
The agreement, which was brokered by IMG, also includes highlights, season preview and review programmes, a weekly preview show and a goals of the week programme.
“We are extremely satisfied with the agreement, which testifies the growing importance and the international recognition of our league,” said Serie A president Gaetano Miccichè. “This agreement, together with those recently concluded, shows the value of both Serie A and its champions, which will be appreciated by more than 90 million soccer fans and enthusiasts in the US in the next years.”
The partnership between ESPN and Serie A kicks into gear with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus debut against Chievo on 18th August.
Burke Magnus, executive vice president of programming and scheduling at ESPN, added: “The addition of Italy’s Serie A underscores our ambitious goal of making ESPN+ home to the world’s best soccer leagues – and an indispensable destination for fans of the sport in the United States. With Ronaldo’s arrival to Serie A, we anticipate even more interest and exposure for this property in the seasons ahead.”
Serie A is the latest European soccer property to be moved to a streaming service in the US ahead of the 2018/19 season. Last week, Turner Sports revealed that the majority of its Uefa Champions League and Europa League coverage will be housed on its new B/R Live OTT platform.