By Paul Kennedy and Ridge Mahoney
There are Clásicos, and then there is this Clásico: The first match of the season between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou will air live on beIN Sport and beIN Sport en Español on Saturday at noon ET. Pre-game coverage will begin at 11 a.m. ET.
With eight wins and a draw, defending champion Barcelona has a one-point lead on Atletico Madrid in second place and a three-point lead on Real Madrid in third place, but it has not beaten Real Madrid since December 2011 in La Liga play.
Lionel Messi needs one more goal to pass Real Madrid's Alfredo Di Stefano as the Clásico’s all-time leading scorer. The match will be the first Clásico for both coaches, Barcelona’s Gerardo Martino and Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti, as well as for Barca’s Neymar and Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Isco.
SANCHEZ JOINS BEIN SPORT.Mexican Hugo Sanchez, who starred for Real Madrid, has beIN SPORT. He will make his first appearance on Saturday's Saturday coverage of the Clásico.
Other analysts on the Clásico coverage will be former German keeper Bodo Illgner, who played for Real Madrid, and former Barcelona starsJose Mari Bakero and Sonny Anderson.
MLS FINAL WEEKEND.The MLS regular season concludes this weekend with the Supporters' Shield, both conference titles and four playoff berths still up for grabs. Six of the nine games will air on national networks:
3 pm ETPhiladelphia vs. Sporting KC, NBCSN
4 pm ET Toronto FC vs. Montreal, Univision Dep.
5:30 pm ET San Jose vs. FC Dallas, NBCSN
1:30 pm ET D.C. United vs. Houston, NBC
5 pm ET New York vs. Chicago, UniMas
9 pm ET Seattle vs. LA Galaxy, ESPN
HOWARD IN NBCSN BOOTH SUNDAY.U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howardwill join Arlo Whiteon the call of the Chelsea-Manchester City match Sunday at noon ET on NBCSN. Howard will be playing for Everton Saturday in their match at Aston Villa.
“It is the first time we will have an active player in our announce booth,” said NBC Sports Group coordinating producer Pierre Moossa. “He has recently played against both Chelsea and Manchester City and will provide the viewer with a very unique perspective on not only the game but what it is like to face these current squads on the pitch.”
SOUNDERS' FILM MAKES SEATTLE DEBUT. “American Football," Scott Levy's film that follows the Seattle Sounders through the 2012 season, debuted Tuesday at Seattle's Cinerama and will again Saturday in Seattle and then Monday in Tacoma.
(Click here for a trailer to the film. F-bomb warning: Sigi drops a few ...)
VILLA ON TIME WARNER.The Time Warner outlets in Southern California that carry Galaxy games have added “Aston Villa Weekly” to their soccer programming as part of a a two-year deal.
Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes will air the three-hour show each week. It features a full rebroadcast of Villa’s most recent Premier League game, and also interviews, news and features shot at the club’s stadium, Villa Park, and Bodymoor Heath training headquarters.