ESPN unveils Premier League coverage

By Andrew Laughlin,

ESPN has unveiled the early fixtures of its 23 English Premier League games for the 2010/11 season, starting with champions Chelsea against West Bromwich Albion.

On August 14, ESPN will air the season's opening game as newly promoted West Brom travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea. Coverage starts from 5.30pm.

ESPN will then air Newcastle's game against Aston Villa on August 22, along with Manchester United's home tie against West Ham on August 28.

The broadcaster will cover Sunderland vs Arsenal on September 18 and Bolton vs Manchester United on September 25, before airing Manchester City vs Newcastle United on October 3, Aston Villa vs Chelsea on October 16 and Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur on October 30.

In the run up to the festive period, ESPN will carry coverage of Stoke City vs Liverpool and Liverpool vs West Ham on November 13 and November 20 respectively.

Ray Stubbs will again lead ESPN's Premier League presentation team, with Kevin Keegan joining him as lead analyst.

Jon Champion will act as chief commentator, with Chris Waddle and Joe Royle being co-commentators and Rebecca Lowe handling touchline reporting.

This season, ESPN will also operate seven more cameras to increase its total match-day camera allocation to 23.

From the 2010/11 season, the sports broadcaster will also start offering exclusive mobile highlights to all 380 Premier League games under a three-season deal.

"After an exciting first season broadcasting live coverage of the Barclays Premier League, we are looking forward to the year ahead in what will no doubt be another season of great football and drama," said ESPN EMEA vice president of TV channels Jeroen Oerlemans.

"Our opening game will see ESPN take its cameras to the home of current champions Chelsea as they play host to West Bromwich Albion, in what we hope will be the first of many fantastic matches involving all 20 Barclays Premier League clubs."

Last season, ESPN snapped up the Premier League broadcast rights previously owned by collapsed Irish sports broadcaster Setanta.

After a successful debut season offering 46 live games, ESPN will this year see its allocation drop to 23 as Sky Sports holds five of the six available packs for the next three seasons.

Alongside its Premier League games, ESPN will also air 25 exclusive FA Cup matches, along with 30 Scottish Premier League matches and 27 UEFA Europa League games.