ESPN wins bid to show (some) EPL matches in America

I don’t normally do a second blog but this is such a huge story for us Arsenal fans in America that I just had to. According to EPL Talk,  ESPN has won the rights to broadcast the early Saturday match (4:45am PST) and the Monday afternoon match for the first part of this season. I have a call in to ESPN’s office to see if this is A) true and B) if they are going to broadcast the games in High Def (OHGODSPLEASE).

As an Arsenal supporter this is only kinda good news because we will be treated to just one match; Arsenal v. Tottenham (Oct. 31 @ 3:45am PST), SO FAR. And it’s not like it’s a big match. A match which if Setanta carried I would have had to wait until my friend’s bar opened to see on tape delay, I mean, it’s just Tottenham, the “North London Derby” whatever that means*, for fark’s sake.


I don’t want to jump the gun, but fark it:  I told you so!

ESPN knows the value of these games and is totally poised to capitalize on the fanbase that Setanta and FSC have built up for them. If this is true, congratulations to ESPN and to all us American fans.

Finally, proper football in High Definition beamed into our homes at all hours of the night. Beats the hell out of the Texas Hold ’em or High Stakes ‘Risk’ that they normally show at those times, doesn’t it?

*I am fully aware of the importance of the North London Derby, n00b.


  1. It really is a great deal all around. Fans get more football, Sentanta US and FSC each get a little financial security, and tWWL gets a nice chunk of the world sport to pin to its chest.

    Not to mention exposure of the sport to a whole new audience. (Mostly the unemployed and our senior citizens – as they are the only ones watching TV on Monday afternoon at 2 central and Sunday morning at 6:45 central, respectively).

  2. Nobody in Canada is willing to tell me if Setanta will still carry the games here or if an alternative broadcaster will take over. The guys at my cable provider tell me that Setanta International still have the rights, not Setanta UK, but I’m not sure if that sounds right.

    I hope Setanta kept the rights for North America because they showed about 5 live matches each weekend!

    1. @eddie,

      Whereabouts in Canada?

      I will be in Montreal during the Spurs match and am curious what channel will be carrying it there.

    2. @eddie, According to the Setanta web site the U.S. and Canada rights remain the same.

      That said, these particular games I can’t say for sure.

  3. HURRAY!!!

    This is massive news for us yanks!

    Now what I hope is that they don’t let Alexis Lalas (if you know him) and other typical Americans call the matches.

    I can’t stand Tommy Smyth, but he and Derek Rae should be the main combination.

    And Adrian Healy can come in sometimes.

    Thanks for informing me 7am Kick off!!!

    Quality blog.

      1. Hello 7 am kick off, I will be more than glad to do a link exchange with you bro. You’re probably one of few bloggers I like or will get along with because we’re from the same country. (At least I won’t hear: “you stupid yank who knows fuck all about football” from you…LOL)

        So I have already put your link up on my site mate, you can do the same.

    1. @Randy Osae, No self respecting gooner will like or even tolerate what Tommy Smyth has to say. He is a band wagoner of the highest order. He seems like the kind of guy who got subjected to one too many wedgies in school and is taking his frustrations out on Arsenal fans. I f***ing hate him.

  4. This had better not be a trick :p and I hope it is in HD. This could be the start of something great…

    @Randy Osae if Lalas is taking over then I may be hoping Setanta takes complete control. No one should be forced to listen to him “jazz up” football.

  5. Excellent news!! Hopefully there will be more added. Especially since I keep reading FSC is going to jump on the HD bandwagon “soon.”

  6. I’m in Toronto and got used to watching so many more televised games than back home that I got rather used to it. Hope they don’t lose the rights!

    1. @eddie, I often brag that I get to watch more Arsenal than Brits.

      Between FSC, Setanta, and ESPN I’ve seen pretty much every Arsenal match live for three years now.

      1. @ Tim, Umm, you do know that ESPN never showed a LIVE game of our Champions League journey last season only until we reached the semis. (and that inevitable)

        The year before that (2007/08), it was the same until we were drawn against Milan in the round of 16.

  7. Good news, I’ll be back in the States early next year for my Graduate course so it’s good to know I’ll be able to catch games.

  8. I h,,ave e mailed ESPN repeatedly and they tell me that they are not planning to show the EPL in the USA. I hope to christ you are correct especially as the games would be shown on HD… As you know FSC are not HD……
    Keep smiling

  9. Oh, and for my fellow Comcast customers: they finally came to terms with ESPN360. Which means a whole host of La Liga, Bundesliga, Carling Cup, and Coca Cola Championship matches are now available for free at

    It isn’t the EPL, or Arsenal, but I always enjoy taking in other leagues, getting to know the players that AW isn’t going to buy next transfer window.

  10. please tell me i dont have to listen to Tommy Smith and the rest of those idiots i havent missed a game for the last 2 years always been able to see it on FSC Setanta i was wrcked when i could not see the Arsenal Tottenham game when i happened to be home last year we are lucky we can watch most prem league games each week but in HD that would be about time how can the greatest game not be in High Def

  11. Living here in Ottawa, I got to watch 90% of our matches live on Setanta, Sportsnet and The Score. Hopefully nothing changes, (for the worse).

    What I’m curious about is that Some of the matches that were shown on Setanta were exclusive to them, meaning they had their own setanta commentators, etc, but there would be games which were showed to us on Setanta sports but were owned by Sky. I believe the Sky games will still be shown, but what’s going to happen to the 46 or so odd games that Setanta broadcasted live? I’m hoping somenone understood my rambling and can give me an answer.

    PS: Champions League QUALIFIERS will (supposedly) be shown on Sportsnet Ontario! I saw the commercial where they said “starting Aug. 18,” which is, I assume when the qualifiers are. Most likely Arsenal will be shown, so for the first time in years, I’ll get to see the qualifiers live.

    If anyone can provide me with info, I’ll be more than happy.

    1. @bigmoe,

      Nevermind, after doing a little research, I found this well articulated websites, which all us Canadians should bookmark:

      Summarizes everything. I also found out that we’ll infact be getting more games, and at last, TSN, the idiots who prioritise curling to CL quarterfinals, will no longer show the CL, it’ll be shared between Setanta and Rogers Sportsnet. Guess I’m set for the new season.


  12. I feel desperately sorry for our American cousins if you have to watch football with that complete fucking idiot Tommy “The Twat” Smyth commenting on the games.

    Blah blah bullshit blah blah onion bag, etc.

    The bloke is an embarrassment. If ESPN want to give their European football any credibility, they should sack the moron.

    They should try and get ex-Sky man Rob McCaffrey from Showtime Arabia, his contract is up at the end of the season and he’s better than ANY of the fucking dross ESPN serve up in their desperate attempts to ruin every game they cover.

  13. Hi guys. I’m a season ticket holder but am moving to NY for a six month work placement. Found Nevada Smiths last summer and loved it but can’t go there every week as bringing the wife and kids this time. Are any of these channels standard or will I have to subscribe to them? ESPN? Setanta? FSC? Any info much appreciated.

    @bigmoe – the uk Setanta games have gone to ESPN here and they are the Sat late and Monday evening games, so likely to be the ESPN ones there too, starting with the Everton opening game.

    Thanks. Come on the Arse!

    1. @Tom,

      ESPN and ESPN2 are basic cable channels, you will get them in 99% of cable or satellite packages.

      FSC and Setanta are subscription channels and the cost depends on your carrier. Personally, I have Comcast cable and pay $5.99/month (on top of my monthly cable bill) for a sports package that includes FSC.

      Setanta is only available, for the most part, from satellite providers, and I have no idea how much it is. When Arsenal is on Setanta, I head to the pub.

      If you want it all, just get DirectTV with Setanta and FSC. Since you are only here six months, you can probably get a good “new customer” deal and then cancel it before the rates skyrocket.

  14. I’m sure will comment on this in a later blog but we’ve drawn Tony Mowbray’s Celtic. We ‘should’ win against the 2nd place SPL side. But going to Scotland should be no more difficult a test than going to Italy.

    1. @ctpa, along with it being closer. We handled Rangers pretty easy so i don;t see too much of an issue. Short travel time is good after being away in merseyside.

  15. Hmmm… what does this mean for us? Will Setanta still show the Arsenal games that ESPN doesn’t show? Will FSC cover the games that Setanta and ESPN doesn’t show? Will I be able to see all the games like I have before?

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