ESPN has confirmed its exclusively live Barclays Premier League fixtures for the first four months of the 2012/13 season. On the opening weekend ESPN visits St James’ Park as Newcastle United take on Tottenham Hotspur. The match presents new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas with a testing first league match at the helm while Magpies chief Alan Pardew will want to send a signal that last season’s fifth-place was not a one-off.
The action continues the following week as Newcastle United travel to West London. ESPN viewers will have an early opportunity to see last season’s UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea as newly-installed permanent manager Roberto Di Matteo looks to build on their 6th place finish last season.
Champions Manchester City will feature three times on ESPN as they welcome Queens Park Rangers on 1st September and Swansea City on 27th October to the Etihad Stadium, before they make an away trip to play newly-promoted West Ham United on 3rd November. ESPN viewers will also get a look at Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side as they face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on 15th September. Manchester United make their first appearance on ESPN on 29th September as they host Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs’ north London rivals, Arsenal, will feature in the first of their three away fixtures on ESPN, first at West Ham United on 6th October, before travelling to East Anglia to face Chris Hughton’s Norwich City on 20th October. The 24th November will see Arsenal visit Villa Park, a happy hunting ground in recent years, to play an Aston Villa side under the stewardship of new boss, Paul Lambert. Manchester United complete ESPN’s November line up as they play Norwich City at Carrow Road on 17th November.
ESPN’s coverage will be presented by Ray Stubbs with Kevin Keegan alongside him as lead analyst. Robbie Savage, Martin Keown as well as former Liverpool legends Steve McManaman and John Barnes will also be part of ESPN’s line-up of football analysts. In the commentary box, Chris Waddle will join Jon Champion, with ESPN’s Rebecca Lowe continuing to get the exclusive stories from managers and players from pitchside.
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President TV Channels, ESPN, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Football fans watching ESPN’s Barclays Premier League coverage in the coming months will be able to follow the very top sides as well as the newly-promoted outfits. Alongside ESPN’s offering of top football coverage from around the UK and Europe, we look forward to the start of what promises to be another fantastic season of football on ESPN.”