ESPN secures rights to EPL (Altidore to miss Hull-Chelsea match)


The opening match of the English Premier League season will now be shown on ESPN2 as part of ESPN's new deal to air EPL matches throughout the year.

The network finalized a deal with Fox Sports International late on Friday for the rights to air English Premier League matches for the upcoming season, including the Chelsea-Hull City match (7:40am). The network officially announced the deal late Friday night.

 “The Barclays Premier League is one of the crown jewels of professional sports throughout the world,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN's vice president of programming.  “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.”

The Chelsea-Hull City match was supposed to be the debut of U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore for Hull, but Altidore revealed late on Friday night via Twitter that he is still sorting out work permit issues and will miss the match.

ESPN had been in lengthy negotiations with Fox Sports International to secure rights to show EPL games on a weekly basis, but the failure to make a deal earlier was putting the airing of the season opener in jeopardy. Saturday's opener will be shown. That possibility was avoided on Friday when the two networks reached an agreement.

Here is the schedule of matches to be shown on ESPN networks through September:

EPL on ESPN2 (through September)

Saturday- Chelsea vs. Hull City (7:40am, ESPN2)

Sat., Aug. 22- Wigan vs. Manchester United (9:55am, ESPN2)

Mon., Aug. 24- Liverpool vs. Aston Villa (2:55pm, ESPN2)

Sat., Aug. 29- Chelsea vs. Burnley (7:40am, ESPN2)

Sat., Sept. 12- Liverpool vs. Burnley (9:55am, ESPN2)

Sat. Sept. 19- Burnley vs. Sunderland (7:40am, ESPN2)

Sat., Sept. 26- Portsmouth vs. Everton (7:40am,ESPN2)

Mon., Sept. 28- Manchester City vs. West Ham (2:55pm, ESPN2)

What do you think of the news? Excited to see this schedule? Will you be up early to see Chelsea-Hull even without Jozy Altidore? Ready to adopt Burnley as your second-favorite EPL team?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in BREAKING NEWS, European Soccer, Soccer on TV. Bookmark the permalink.

126 Responses to ESPN secures rights to EPL (Altidore to miss Hull-Chelsea match)

  1. EDB says:

    this is good news!

  2. Ed says:

    Hey Ives have you heard anything about ESPN’s schedule for La Liga?

  3. Dill says:

    Will it be in HD?

  4. Messifan says:

    Great News, the weekend keeps getting better.

  5. Gregg says:

    F it. I’m getting up at 4:40am west coast to see my boy get his run.

  6. Danimal says:

    If there’s any HD, it probably won’t be until the next 7:30 game because of the short notice. No 10:00 games are currently offered in HD.

    Also, no EPL online streaming at least for the time being on ESPN or FSC. Only Setanta currently offers that for the EPL, but we’ll see if it changes down the road.

  7. Cindy says:

    woooooooo!! now here’s hoping Jozy plays!!!

  8. EA says:

    While I’m not certain, I believe this is the appropriate time to exclaim the phrase:


  9. brad says:

    SOOOO excited!

  10. Katatonia says:

    CAREFREE WHEREVER I….no no screw chelsea.

  11. RobU says:

    Great news for Soccer in America.

    Don’t be surprised if Jozy doesn’t start. I heard he might be on the bench.

  12. Yay for having to be at work at 7AM. :(

  13. Gene_SF says:

    It’s 4:45 a.m. CA time, but I may get up at some point to watch it. Does anyone know whether Altidore will make the bench in light of the swine flue story? The U.S. Soccer official news release on the story is that no one needs to be quaranteened if they don’t have symptoms of flue. But they are recommending prophylactic taking of Tamiflue to anyone who came in close contact with Donovan.

    link to

    The folks at Hull might take a more cautious approach than the CDC.

  14. TheJester525 says:

    I think i need to change my pants.


    4:00 am I will be up and looking forward to it espn thanks for the treat. ESPN at 4:00 or any time we fans love our football. lets go jozy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. ned says:

    There’s no chance they tape delay for the west coast? 4:45am is brutal.

  17. dena says:

    Hey Ives’ got a link to ESPN reporting that it’s official?

  18. Kyle says:

    Don’t see it on ESPN website, but it scrolled across the bottom of screen on ESPN about 25 minutes ago! Let’s go Jozy!

  19. Rekro says:

    I’ll have to get up at 4 in the morning, but it’ll be worth it if jozy plays.

  20. cbr says:


  21. Michael S says:

    Yes!!!!! This is great news.

  22. Michael F. says:

    Couldn’t be happier. I will be up. C’mon you tigers! Go Jozy!

  23. Rene says:

    I’ll watch it on 360 when I wake up, after my first week at work, 4:40am is just plain vicious.

  24. Phillip says:

    This is awesome. I’m glad the leader is finally stepping its coverage of footie.

    Come check out this article previewing Jozy’s future at Hull:

    link to

    To see it u have to register:
    link to

  25. ManicMessiah says:

    I was telling myself that it didn’t matter whether the match was on tv or not when it was still up in the air.

    Now, I’m definitely going to go out of my way to watch it.

  26. Patrick says:

    Jozy at Chelsea at 7:45am on ESPN.

    Nuff said.

  27. Dave says:

    I don’t see the game listed on epsn360 yet. Are they going to have it available there too?

  28. hartely says:

    Well since my current cable provider recently eliminated FSC from its channel lineup, I am very glad to hear this news. Many prayers have been answered — as we see more soccer coming to “regular” American television.

  29. MiamiAl says:

    Where is this confirmed? I cant seem to find it on ESPN site anywhere, or the link Ives provided.

    (SBI-ESPN sent out the press release at a little after 10pm Friday night.)

  30. BlueWhiteLion says:

    cool beans!

    Ives working overtime again to get us the best information!

    insider solidarity!

  31. Paul says:

    4 am it is!

  32. KBD says:

    Ugh. I have to wake up that early?!

    It’s too bad I’m really curious about Jozy playing for Hull; otherwise I wouldn’t give two shits about this match (especially since Chelsea will likely win by about 7).

  33. Dominghosa says:


  34. JK says:

    YES!!!!!!! This is not good news, but great news.

  35. Uncle Phil says:

    Jozy’s agent is saying he won’t play. : (

  36. SP says:

    sorry ives, but that collage has said that for a few days now, bc it is referring to espn uk. while i’m sure that espn usa did secure rights for the whole season, that isn’t the proper confirmation.

    (SBI-ESPN has put out the official announcement.)

  37. Uncle Phil says:

    Wake up early, take the dogs for a walk or jog, make breakfast, invite members of your youth teams or pick up league over. Fans of the beautiful game.

  38. Gregg says:

    Uncle Phil –

    Link on that story please? Thanks.

  39. Gregg says:

    SP –


  40. SP says:

    from his twitter: “Make sure you watch the debut of the league tomorrow when hull takes on chelsea. I wish I could be there :(” and “Bad news guys still in the states trying to sort things out with my work permit. There is a lil more work that has to be done. :(”

  41. Ian says:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news people, but Jozy’s twitter says he WILL NOT BE AT THE GAME due to work permit issues.

    Sucks, but just wanted to make sure no one gets an unpleasant surprise.

  42. Gregg says:

    I’ll make it a TIVO watch instead of live…no JOZY more sleep.

  43. DYCSoccer17 says:

    I hate this. I much prefer Fox Soccer Channel showing 4-5 EPL games a weekend than ESPN showing 1 game each week.

  44. Michael Vann says:

    Damn, you guys beat me to it. I was gonna post about Jozy still being Stateside. This sucks! I had winning goal in the back of my head on his and ESPN’s debut. Oh well. I’ll still drag my butt outta bed and watch but it won’t be the same without Jozy.

  45. Jackie says:

    BREAKING NEWS from josy

    Bad news guys still in the states trying to sort things out with my work permit. There is a lil more work that has to be done. :(

  46. Rekro says:

    Ugh, oh well…….
    Maybe I’ll still get up early, find a stream and watch Cooper play.

  47. SP says:

    DYC, what do you mean? fsc will still be keeping their content, this is just like a bonus (unless you really loved setanta or something). these timeslots weren’t covered by fsc last year.

  48. Rekro says:

    Someone at ESPN must really be a die hard Burnley fan.

  49. jackie says:

    “Jozy, don’t come to England yet, ’cause you might have the swine flu and we don’t want you infecting the team’.

    But if you do that twitter thingy again- just tell ’em its a work permit issue

  50. DYCSoccer17 says:

    @ SP – So long as the ESPN deal doesn’t affect FSC’s content, then I am happy (:

  51. Danny says:

    I don’t see the Chel$ea/Hull City match on the ESPN360 line-up. Not up yet, or is ESPN360 out for this bunch of matches?

  52. KBD says:

    I hate this. I much prefer Fox Soccer Channel showing 4-5 EPL games a weekend than ESPN showing 1 game each week.

    Posted by: DYCSoccer17 | August 14, 2009 at 10:27 PM

    FSC still shows games. There are two scheduled for tomorrow, I believe. No need to fret! The only thing this changes is that we get some HD coverage for a change….which DEFINITELY increases my chances of watching some more games this year.

  53. KBD says:

    Ahh, sorry for the reiteration! I didn’t realize someone had beatem me to the punch!

  54. SP says:

    danny, probably not up yet because the matches aren’t up for espn2 on yet either

  55. SP says:

    i know this may sound very ungrateful after some really good news, but why not get more of the matches that fsc will not be showing? is it so fsc can keep the competition of espn at bay or did espn just not pursue more than 1 match a week?

  56. Texar says:

    they need to move England and Spain to Central Time.. 8am on a sat is BS!!!! 😛

  57. Langan says:

    i think it has nothing to do with a work permit but more to do with swine flu from mr donovan…well see if Timmys in net etc etc

  58. Bob says:

    4:40 AM…what a horrible time for us west coasters. Definitely gonna have to do ESPN360. I wish they would replay the match at like 10.

  59. clbuzz says:

    English Premier League 2009 will kick to a flying start on Saturday, August 15, 2009. The fixtures of this exciting forthcoming season have already been announced, and the football fans and fraternity are all set to watch some exciting matches.

    link to

  60. DL says:

    Hopefully we get a full dose of Fulham, Everton, Hull, West Ham and Villa.

  61. Paul says:

    burnley getting some major love!! to bad all we get is our keepers thru the first 5 games and only one of them will prolly play (excluding Friedel since he isnt a national teamer anymore) but hopefully by then spector will be a starter

  62. understood says:

    @lol at some of the people in this thread asking ives for further confimation of this news when he works for ESPN…if anybody got it right its probably IVES

  63. Nick says:

    So do they basically have all of what used to be the Setanta package?

  64. RK says:

    Why on earth would you get up at 4 am to maybe see one player play in one game?

  65. Way for ESPN to step it up and for Fox to Do The Right Thing!

    Shame if Jozy can’t play the first game, but will be watching televised games where he does play.

    Also interested in Fulham for obvious reasons – the USA’s best midfielder plays for them. And then there’s about 10 more EPL teams worth watching because their football is just so outstanding

  66. JoeDub83 says:

    Burnley?! They look just like West ham

  67. Tom P says:

    I pay a fortune to Dish network for the 200 channel package just for FSC to watch crap,grainy reception-but good english announcers- so yeah, I’m happy about the direction this is heading.

    I care more about the PL then the Champions League anyway. Hopefully this grows into a full blown deal that creates a ESPN, soccer only channel.

  68. Leonardo says:

    ok haven’t slept yet… debating whether to stay up for Chelsea Hull game w/o Jozy…

    btw i hope Jozy reads this thread to see how many peeps are excited to see him play; and how many of us would sleep in if he doesn’t!

  69. Dustin says:

    It’s going to be on ESPN360 right? I needs it!

  70. AdamTheRed says:


  71. dena says:

    Paul Mariner, Adrian Healy and Shaka Hislop on the pre-game, not bad. And ESPN is using what sounds like the international feed for this one, not sure about future games.

  72. wjmooner says:

    HD! HD! No Jozy. Oh well. Game about to kickoff. Already in trouble with my fantasy team, I thought Geovanni was Hull’s talisman and he’s on the bench. My bad for selecting a team with guys I know nothing about.

  73. Jim says:

    I stumbled on the ESPN2 HD (??!!) broadcast by accident this morning– didn’t check SBI last night. Had to stop by and confirm what my eyes were seeing. This is FANTASTIC!!!!

  74. A.S. says:

    This is great! EPL in HD!

  75. ERIC says:


  76. RS says:

    The players aren’t blurry…we can make out numbers…the ref doesn’t blend in as a player!

    It’s actually in HD…I’m shocked.

  77. This Guy says:

    Official game stats are giving Cooper a goal but I watched the goal and he wasn’t even in the play.

  78. dena says:

    Anyone see that Steven Hunt cross? Jozy would’ve finished that :*

  79. Turtle says:

    :) I hate Chelsea

  80. Chattanooga FC Fan says:

    Hull strikes first!!!! Steven Hunt!!!!

  81. Twoods says:

    Chelsea equalizes. Drogba!!!! My only gripe is the scrolling scoreboard at the bottom of the screen.

  82. Chris says:

    WHAT THE HELL? I wake up and turn on the TV to watch Bass Masters (my favorite fishing show) and I get this crap? What is this? A bunch of guys running around on a large grass field? WHY IS THIS ON INSTEAD OF MY FISHING SHOW?


  83. Jorge says:

    This is how EPL games are supposed to be watched: in HD… :-)

  84. Hunt says:

    THIS IS GRRREEAAAATT!!! FSC may have self-imposed a little pressure on themselves to rush their HD switch. I hope ESPN promotes MLS a little more too. To make our league better, we need them to crank it up!

  85. beckster says:

    This is so fantastic. EPL in HD. I’ll never leave home on Saturday again before 10 in the morning!

  86. CSD says:

    Looks like ESPN might want to line up some new sponsors. I am not sure how big the rifle shopping soccer watching crowd is in US. A sporting event from the UK with rifle commercials at half time is full of irony.

  87. Herzog says:

    Same here as chris @ 8.40a. I’m in Brooklyn on Time Warner. Where the hell is chelsea v Hull?

  88. Jorge says:


    First half just finished.

  89. dlink09 says:

    wow awesome, FSC get you’re act together and start HD channel in 09 not 10

  90. garbaggio says:

    I wonder how serious Jozy’s work permit issues are?

    Somewhere, maybe here on Ives’ blog, I read he doesn’t meet the int’l games requirement because – like many of the better US players – he was left off the Gold Cup team to get some rest after the Confed Cup.

    I’m not all that enthusiastic about him going to a relegation threatened team like Hull. But they looked somewhat enterprising in the early going as huge underdogs at Chelsea. To me, the worse case scenario could be Jozy at Hull resembling Benny Feilhaber at Derby County.

    Different players playing different positions for different clubs, I know. But a forward on a team trying to stave off relegation can feel awfully isolated on the field. And if he doesn’t produce quickly he could find himself in the doghouse.

    Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic but it’s good to balance some of the “Hooray for Jozy at Hull” optimism.

    (SBI-Altidore has already been approved for his work permit. I would bet that the current delay has to do with his ITC (International Transfer Certificate) and or visa.)

  91. KenC says:

    Jozy’s been back and forth between the US and UK alot in the last 2 weeks, and he probably doesn’t have all of his work permit papers since he only just had his hearing. And, passport control will definitely stop you if you pop in and out of a country in a short period of time. No problems for Jozy, but damn, he needed to be in this game!

  92. Robert says:

    Too bad no Jozy today. I got up extra early and everything. Guess I shouldn’t have partied so much last night 😉

  93. whipsmart13 says:

    I hate Stephen Hunt….pikey troll

  94. DC Josh says:

    This is curing my hangover. Full HD for the EPL, along with fantastic audio. FSC suck it! Get with the program.

  95. Jorge says:

    Now Brown brings Geovanni in…

  96. Hunt says:

    six minutes of extra time? WOW

  97. Jorge says:

    And Drogba scores…

  98. Hunt says:

    can’t wait for the old Drogba “it was a shot” quote. ESPN lucked into a great opening match

  99. Mike M says:

    Let just hope they don’t ESPN-ize the broadcasts:

    1) Complain about officals 90% of the game

    2) 3rd grade humor level jokes

    3) Some idiot on the sidelines making obvious statements “they don’t look happy the other team scored”

    4)Sports ticker that contains at least 1 Brett Favre thread.

    5) Cut in to programing to give you update on different sport I don’t care about.

    6) More air-time to Alexi Lalas


  100. Tommy says:

    Alexi Lalas should be banned from TV.

  101. Zlatan rules says:

    i love how the second the game was over they cut to espnews to talk about everything but the game. we didnt even get highlights or a recap. wtf? typical espn.

  102. joel says:

    this is good news! another option to see games on TV…its only positive!

  103. Mike M says:

    “Now back to the studio with this breaking news…..Brett Favre ordered a hot dog at a rest stop near Vikings camp. Our sources say he put relish on it but skipped the mustard.

    Now the following NBA players still have “beefs” with eachother”

  104. John says:

    If you are Fox, do you realize you just sold a portion of your exclusive product to a company that produced and broadcast it better than you did in 12 hours!? Turning to FSC after the ESPN2 game was depressing. Can’t wait until next Saturday, Man U in HD!

  105. dlink09 says:

    after watching in ESPN HD, aston villa game on FSC looks pathetic.. come one FSC sort it out..get HD ASAP..

  106. dlink09 says:

    that produced and broadcast it better than you did in 12 hours!?—–

    espn didn’t produce the game. they get feed from UK.. i believe its SKY feed and SKY commentators..

  107. dlink09 says:

    only difference b/w ESPN and FSC is — broadcasting.. ESPN on HD and FSC on SD..
    both get feeds from UK..

  108. Marc says:

    Showed Chelsea vs Hull City today….using the announcer feed from Sky Sports in England (good idea!)….in HD….my problem was their overall presentation….no post game analysis what so ever, cut the game as the handshakes were going on and went straight to a commerical and then sports center…they are going to have to do better with the overall presentation or will risk the wrath of futbal fans…similar to the knocks they get presenting the national team….being in HD was nice though….I’m not a fan of ESPN or their productions….so I don’t expect much from them for the futbal fan….

    Excited it’s on ESPN….actually no as I don’t think the beautful game will get the production it deserves..and agree with Mike M….please don’t ESPNize it…

    Setanta and FSC will also continue to show the EPL…which is good even if it is not in HD…

  109. Marc says:

    Getting a Visa in England can be a real pain and the Govt., unlike here, doesn’t care that Jozy is a footballer and give him special consideration…I’m glad I’m half English (mom born and raised their) thus I don’t need a Visa to enter and leave…it will get sorted out but on thir time, not ours unfortuntely…

  110. dlink09 says:

    they got the rights yest’, lets give them some time before slagging off :)

  111. Jameson says:

    the games are definitely not on espn2 right now for me… anyone else not get them?

  112. Mike M says:

    “The following NFL Camp hold-outs are doing sit-ups in their driveway. We’ll say we condemn the behavior yet dedicate 80% of our programming to it.


    Now we’ll cut to the following celebrities who are watching a Laker game.



    I do hope its a feed from overseas and all the ESPN elements I can’t stand are minimal. At the very least they’re going to cut into the game a dozen times to update you on stuff you won’t care about. If you’ve seen any MLS broadcast you know what I’m talking about.

  113. dlink09 says:

    who cares, HD is enough for me..

  114. DCM says:


    The game was on ESPN2 earlier this morning. They don’t have a 10:00 game.

  115. dlink09 says:

    email to contact
    i have sent an email asking them to get HD channel ASAP..

  116. Jorge says:

    Our boy Dempsey credited with an assist on Zamora’s goal against Portsmouth.

  117. BJS 71 says:

    Apparently, ESPN are Burnley fans…

  118. dlink09 says:

    i think they are showing most early games due to college football coverage they have on ESPN2..

  119. charlie says:

    what a terrible line-up. America gets to watch Man U destroy Wigan and Burnley get the crap kicked out of them twice. Plus we get to watch Burnley (A THIRD TIME ?!!)battle those titans from Sunderland. I hope ESPN isn’t actually paying for this terrible line-up.

  120. Mike says:

    who were the commentators??

  121. Bob says:

    Damn it. The EPL games aren’t on ESPN360. Why!?

  122. Utard says:


    Everything I love about soccer in one place… Great game, great finish, great atmosphere, good commentators with great command of soccer language…. And now it’s on ESPN so I don’t have to PAY to see it, and neither does everybody else! Thanks ESPN, keep it up. Please, please keep the British feed. Just add a post game show and we’re good.

    I woke up this morning like it was Christmas morning as a child thinking, “Could it really true? Am I going to walk into the family room and find a nice surprise (on TV)?”

    I really love live soccer on Saturday morning!

  123. Marc says:

    Lets be honest they were not going to sell ESPN the choice games…when they can broadcast them on FSC…as for HD FSC said recently they are shooting to move into, but not until early 2010…

  124. Doug says:

    dohhh! They still had Bassmasters in the TV guide so I only saw the last 15 minutes

  125. Nancy says:

    I actually like the early start times. I missed this one Any reports on how the broadcast was handled? How many SportsCenter breaks? Who announced?