For the second year ESPN will provide live and exclusive televised coverage of South America’s premier club cup competition, the Copa Libertadores.
ESPN will air 32 games throughout the tournament, starting with the first stage preliminary qualifying rounds as Brazil’s Sao Paulo take on Bolivian outfit Bolívar on Wednesday 23rd January. ESPN’s schedule of further matches will be announced in due course.
The action continues with a live game each week during the 32-team, eight-group second stage between 12th February and 18th April.
ESPN will broadcast eight games from the Round of 16 as the tournament enters knock-out stages. Every game in the competition from the quarter-finals through to the final will be aired live. Each knock-out game is a two-legged tie, up to and including the final, on 27th June and 4th July.
Copa Libertadores gives viewers the chance to watch the best teams and brightest stars in South American football as they compete for the continent’s biggest trophy.
The Copa Libertadores’ reigning champions are Sao Paulo giants Corinthians, who beat one of the competition’s most decorated teams, Boca Juniors, 3-1 on aggregate in the 2012 final for their first ever title.
The Brazilians went on to defeat European club champions Chelsea and win the FIFA Club World Cup in December. Corinthians are once again amongst the top seeds for 2013, along with the likes of Argentina’s Arsenal and Velez Sarsfield, Ecuadorian side Barcelona and Sporting Cristal from Peru.
Last season, ESPN broadcast the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, popularly known as “Brasileirão”. Alongside ESPN’s live games, its coverage of the Copa Libertadores will include repeats of games the following day.
The competition joins ESPN’s range of top quality domestic and European club football, including the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, Serie A, Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, and more.