This summer’s much anticipated Copa America has found a US home on OTT streaming service ESPN+, unveiling a deal for the U.S. English-language television rights of the tournament.
As part of the deal, ESPN has announced all 26 matches will be streamed via the ESPN+ platform, although none will be televised by ESPN’s linear broadcast networks.
The tournament, to be played in Brazil from June 14 to July 7, agreed last July to a U.S. Spanish-language rights agreement with Telemundo, a division of Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal.
Russell Wolff, ESPN+’s executive vice president and general manager commented on the agreement: “We’ve built a home for soccer fans and this will fit right in.
“We think we have the ability to push the right message to the right fan at the right time for those who are already subscribers to let them know it’s there, and we’ve got a whole host of marketing plans in place to push the availability of Copa America on ESPN+ to fans both on our platforms and on third-party platforms.”
Having launched in April 2018, the platform has built a strong footprint with over 1,000 matches from Italy’s Serie A, England’s FA Cup and second-tier League Championship as well as European Nations League matches and games from MLS.
ESPN plans to employ the world feed production that includes a one-man broadcast by Jon Cotterill, and for some matches ESPN will use its own soccer talent. ESPN FC’s studio show will feature coverage, and ESPN is launching a series “The Equalizer” on American women’s team star Alex Morgan, which coincides with the Women’s World Cup in France.
Fox had English-language rights to the 2016 Copa America in the United States and BeIN Sports had them for the 2015 tournament in Chile.