On August 11th, ESPN is set to debut its newest addition to their programming lineup: ESPNFC. ESPNFC will be a daily highlights show from leagues around the world including Europe and MLS as well as coverage of the US and Mexican Men’s National Teams.
The new studio show will be half an hour Monday through Friday with an hour long Sunday special that will wrap up highlights of all the weekends matches and their significance to their respective leagues. ESPN’s Press Release did not mention what time the program would originally air but it will be aired on ESPN2.
This is a big upgrade for fans in the US as the ESPN Press Pass, which will be replaced by ESPNFC was on ESPNNEWS. ESPN2 is definitely a step up within the internal ESPN channel hierarchy. The show will include input from the the writers, bloggers and contributors to the online content of ESPNFC and will also include key interviews as part of the program setup.
This is a logical move for ESPN since next season starts NBCs unprecedented complete coverage of the Premier League (more on that here). With that ends ESPN’s current co-op deal with Fox Soccer where the rights were split between the two. Fox Soccer will be absorbed into Fox Sports Network and ESPN will be without the rights to arguably to biggest of the top three soccer leagues in the world.
ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Programming commented on the announcement saying that ESPNFC will “become ESPN’s signature program for soccer, bringing tremendous value to the company, our affiliates and the ad sales community looking to reach core and casual soccer fans in the United States.”
Check out ESPN’s press release
I wonder who will be hosting? Fingers crossed for Lindsay Czarniak (She started on NBC in DC I have to keep the support local)