ESPN and ESPN+ have reached an exclusive, multi-year rights agreement in the United States for Italy’s Serie A TIM, one of the world’s top soccer leagues, it was announced Tuesday.
The agreement will bring more than 340 matches per season to ESPN+, the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer & International segment and ESPN.
Starting this month, ESPN+ will carry an average of nine matches live each week from August through May, while ESPN networks will televise a Serie A TIM Match of the Week — close to 40 matches per season. Most telecasts will air on ESPN and ESPN2, and the Match of the Week will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. The 20-team Serie A TIM is home to some of global football’s most recognizable and storied clubs, including Juventus FC, AC Milan, AS Roma, FC Inter Milan and more.
Coverage of Serie A TIM will also feature year-round news and highlight content across ESPN platforms. ESPN+ also will exclusively feature one-hour season preview and review programs, a weekly preview and highlight shows and a Serie A TIM goals of the week program.
Coverage of the 2018-19 Serie A TIM season will begin Saturday, Aug. 18, with the league’s opening match, ChievoVerona vs. Juventus, airing on ESPN+ (noon ET). Five-time Ballon d’Or Award winner Cristiano Ronaldo, will make his league debut for Juventus, winners of seven consecutive Serie A TIM titles. Before joining the club in July, Ronaldo scored a record 450 goals in 438 games in nine seasons with Spain’s Real Madrid, leading the club to four UEFA Champions League titles. His move to Juventus is considered one of the most impactful transfers in international soccer.
“We are extremely satisfied with the agreement, which testifies the growing importance and the international recognition of our league,” Lega Serie A president Gaetano Micciche said. “This agreement, together with those recently concluded, shows the value of both Serie A TIM and its champions, which will be appreciated by more than 90 million soccer fans and enthusiasts in the U.S. in the next years.”