ESPN has unveiled the Barclays Premier League fixtures that it will broadcast exclusively live in February with the Barclays Premier League’s current top two teams set to feature. The new games join a host of live football on ESPN during the coming months, including the Third and Fourth Rounds of the FA Cup, from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, plus Rangers matches from the Irn-Bru Scottish Football League. In addition to top British football, ESPN will bring fans televised coverage of European leagues including Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1.
To start the month, current table toppers Manchester United travel to London to face Martin Jol’s Fulham. This will be Dimitar Berbatov’s first opportunity to play against his former team, following his deadline day move to Craven Cottage. United haven’t found this particular fixture easy going over the years, most notably in 2009 when they were comprehensively beaten twice. Last season saw an upturn in fortunes however, with strikes from five different players, including Berbatov, culminating in a 5-0 win for the Red Devils.
Next up, relegation-threatened Southampton play host to 2012 champions Manchester City. Roberto Mancini’s men finished November unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League only three points off top spot, and will be heavy favourites going into this game. Southampton have saved their best form for St Mary’s however, and only two late goals from Robin van Persie stopped the Saints from securing a memorable win over Man United back in September.
Over the first few months of 2013, ESPN will also air exclusively live FA Cup coverage including Third and Fourth Round matches – plus replays – during January as Barclays Premier League and Championship clubs join the world’s oldest cup competition. Also, ESPN’s extensive coverage of European leagues will continue, bringing viewers some of the biggest games on the continent, from the German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.
Simon Potter, Head of Programming and Production, ESPN EMEA said: “As we move into 2013, we’re delighted to be able to offer fans a varied range of live football from some of the biggest leagues in the world. The Barclays Premier League continues to both excite and surprise this season, and in addition to the FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Premier League, Irn Bru Scottish Football League and the European leagues, ESPN has an enviable amount of live action to keep the most ardent football fans entertained this winter.”