TV: Italy's Serie A moves from beIN Sports to ESPN

Broadcasting rights to Italy's Serie A has moved to ESPN in a multi-year agreement.

Coverage will feature:

-- Match of the Week on ESPN/ESPN2 (and on ESPN Deportes)
-- 340+ games per season on ESPN+, ESPN's pay streaming service.
-- Weekly highlights show, preview show, goals of the week on ESPN+.

It will kick off on Aug. 18 when Chievo Verona hosts defending champion Juventus on ESPN+ (12 p.m. ET). Juve features Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed with the "Vecchia Segnora" in July after nine seasons at Real Madrid.

The soccer offering on ESPN+, which launched in April, includes games in MLS, the USL, new UEFA Nations League and English League Championship as well as college soccer matches for $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year).

BeIN Sports, which is currently involved in a carriage dispute with Comcast and Verizon, held the U.S. rights since 2012-13 when it picked them up from Fox Sports as part of its big push into the U.S. market. The contract was renewed in 2015 but expired after the 2017-18 season.

IMG acquired the global broadcast rights to Serie A in a deal believed to be worth about $400 million a year. It replaced MP & Silva, Serie A’s previous international rights holder whose most recent deal was paying a little more than half what IMG stepped in and agreed to pay.
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