Soccer fans surfing their television dial on Saturday morning were surprised to find Chelsea playing Hull City (with Jozy Altidore
not suited up) in English Premier League action on ESPN2, which will air one match each Saturday and 12 Monday afternoon games as part of a package of 48 live broadcasts
ESPN reached an agreement with Fox Sports International to air the games on ESPN2.
"The Barclays Premier League is one of the crown jewels
of professional sports throughout the world," said Scott Guglielmino
, vice president of programming, ESPN. "We're pleased to work with Fox Sports
International to bring some of the league's marquee matchups to ESPN2 in our continued efforts to serve soccer fans in the United States."
This agreement marks the
return of the Premier League to ESPN in the United States for the first time since 1998. For two seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98), ESPN2 was the English-language television home for the league's
Monday night matches.
ESPN also has started broadcasting games in England. ESPN2 SCHEDULE (all times ET): Sat., Aug. 22
9:55 a.m., Wigan vs. Man. United Mon., Aug. 24
2:55 p.m. Liverpool vs. Aston Villa
Sat., Aug. 29
7:40 a.m. Chelsea vs. Burnley Sat., Sept. 12
9:55 a.m. Liverpool vs. Burnley
Sat., Sept. 19
7:40 a.m. Burnley vs. Sunderland Sat., Sept. 26
7:40 a.m. Portsmouth vs. Everton
Mon., Sept. 28
2:55 p.m. Manchester City vs. West Ham