Football clubs upset at ESPN coverage axe
Monday, March 21 2011, 09:23 GMT
By Andrew Laughlin,

ESPN's decision to axe its planned television coverage of the women's Premier League Cup final on Thursday has angered the participating clubs.

Nottingham Forest and Barnet are upset at the loss of potential sponsorship income from the game being aired on such a high-profile platform, reports The Guardian.

"We had two sponsorships lined up on the understanding that the game would be on TV," said Fay Glover, the Nottingham Forest club secretary.

"Getting to the final has helped us raise enough money to keep going until the end of the season but the extra cash we could have raised would have been a massive help."

Kelly Simmons, the Football Association's head of national game, said that ESPN decided not to broadcast the final at Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park due to fears about a lack of interest from viewers.

"At the point a decision had to be made on whether to go ahead with the broadcast, we were concerned about low ticket sales," said Simmons.

ESPN spokesman Paul Melvin added: "It's normal that we sometimes have changes in our scheduling, as in this case."

However, Wycombe anticipates that the crowd will be around 2,000-strong for the final, considerably higher than the forthcoming Women's Super League, which is due to be televised by ESPN.

Last week, ESPN announced the launch of a new live streaming service, called ESPN Extra Time, providing post-match coverage of football matches in the Premier League, FA Cup and Scottish Premier League.