Coming up right after that: More overseas soccer, and a new studio show at the launch of Fox Sports 1.
But first: “ESPN FC,” landing Sunday (7-8 p.m., ESPN2, following coverage of the Galaxy’s game in Dallas).
Allow us a yellow card while we catch our breath.
Highlights, news, reaction and opinion – all the stuff you’d expect from any other major sport – will expand the ESPN soccer coverage from its ESPNFC.com website. The focus will be on the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Spain’s La Liga, Major League Soccer, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and the Mexican National Team.
Monday through Friday, the 30-minute version (ESPN2, 2:30 p.m., opposite ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption” is more about soccer banter than highlight driven stuff.
Max Bretos, the former long-time Fox Soccer Channel broadcaster and current ESPNEWS and ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor, has a vested interest in ESPN FC succeeding since he’ll be one of the rotating co-hosts.
“I’d like to think I’ve built some equity in the sport,” said Bretos, at FSC from 1998-2010 before going to ESPNEWS. “I remember doing some games from Chile before when I was pretty sure no one was listening except the guys in the control booth.”
The emergence of overseas soccer on so many major U.S. outlets could blindside those non-soccer fans who aren’t sure why there’s so much American interest building.
Bretos says it’s not just the upgraded Major League Soccer presence, but a competitive market place that sees ratings inching up year to year as more come to embrace the global game – especially with the World Cup coming up.
“Maybe we do have a leg up (launching earlier) but I think we can all work together to help each other out to move the game go forward,” said Bretos. “Common sense should prevail and we can remain in good standing in the long run.”
FS1’s first soccer show, “Fox Soccer Daily,” arrives Aug. 19 in the 1 p.m. window with a live hour-hour segment coming from the Fox L.A. studios.
NBC will launch its Premier League schedule on Saturday, Aug. 17 with Liverpool-Stoke City (4:45 a.m. live, NBC Sports Network), and then the Swansea City AFC-Manchester United match (9:30 a.m. taped, Channel 4). NBC Sports Group promises 380 Premier League games in the U.S. – more than anywhere else on the planet.