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ESPN+ Acquires Rights to Dutch, Chinese and Australia’s Top Soccer Leagues

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  • More than 300 live matches to air exclusively on ESPN+
  • Dutch Eredivisie, Chinese Super League, Australia’s Hyundai A-League add to top-division football lineup on the digital direct-to-consumer streaming service

ESPN+ has reached a multi-year media agreement for three more top-division soccer leagues – Australia’s Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, the Chinese Super League and the Dutch Eredivisie. In all, more than 300 matches per season from the leagues will be streamed live exclusively in the United States on ESPN+, the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) segment and ESPN.

“This agreement further boosts the position of ESPN+ as the leading new platform for live soccer matches in the U.S.,” said Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, ESPN. “These leagues join a lineup of hundreds of top-division live matches from Europe and North America, along with a strong lineup of original and studio soccer programming.”

The agreement includes:

Hyundai A-League / Westfield W-League (Australia):

  • One of the top and most competitive leagues in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the A-League has had six different champions the past seven seasons
  • Japanese star Keisuke Honda has recently signed with Melbourne Victory, while track & field legend Usain Bolt is currently training with the A League’s Central Coast Mariners, attempting to realize a dream of playing professional soccer
  • The Westfield W-League has featured many of the leading women soccer players in the world, including FIFA Women’s Player of the Year nominee and NWSL Chicago Red Star’s Samantha Kerr.
  • Current champions – Melbourne Victory FC (Hyundai A-League) and Melbourne City FC (Westfield W-League)
  • ESPN+ will carry up to 140 A-League matches October through April. At least, 17 W-League (Women’s League) matches will be streamed October through February
  • Additionally, ESPN+ will carry at least one FFA Cup match per round – the Football Federation Australia’s domestic cup completion.

Chinese Super League (China):

  • Home to stars such as Brazil’s Paulinho, Hulk, Alexandre Pato, and Oscar; Belgium’s Axel Witsel; Ivory Coast’s Gervinho; Argentina’s Javier Mascherano and Eziquiel Lavezzi; and more
  • The league has paid more than $1 billion in transfer fees the last five seasons to acquire players. The amount ranks sixth-most of any league in the world, and the highest outside Europe
  • 60 Chinese League matches will be on ESPN+ from March through November.

Dutch Eredivisie (The Netherlands):

  • One of world’s top leagues for player development. Global stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Memphis Depay (Lyon), and more have all come through the Eredivisie
  • League players have attracted over $1 billion in transfer fees the last five years and the league’s net transfer spend of more than $765 million during that time is the second-highest of any league in Europe
  • Current champion: PSV Eindhoven
  • 102 regular season Eredivisie matches (three per week, August through May) will be streamed on ESPN+.

Last week, ESPN+ announced a new multi-year agreement with Serie A TIM that includes more than 340 Italian soccer matches per year. ESPN+ is already home to MLS LIVE – a collection of more than 250 Major League Soccer out-of-market matches, as well as local market media home for the Chicago Fire. The service will carry over 100 live matches from the UEFA Nations League (UNL), a new tournament among the 55-member nations from the Union of European Football Associations played on FIFA international match days beginning in September 2018. In addition, ESPN+ subscribers can watch hundreds of English Football League (EFL), the United Soccer League (USL) matches, and more.

ESPN+ is also the exclusive platform for ESPN FC, ESPN’s daily global soccer news, information and analysis program. Dan Thomas hosts alongside a roster of pundits featuring former international players Kasey Keller (USA) Craig Burley (Scotland), Shaka Hislop (Trinidad and Tobago), Stewart Robson (England), Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela), Steve Nicol (Scotland), and more.

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks.

Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of soccer matches a year, including MLS, UEFA Nations League, USL and more, as well as ESPN’s signature daily studio program ESPN FC. Additionally, fans get hundreds of MLB and NHL games, thousands of college sports events, exclusive Top Rank boxing, UFC (beginning in 2019), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby, cricket, new and exclusive documentary films and series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time.

ESPN+ is an integrated part of the ESPN App, the leading sports app and the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans. The ESPN App is a showcase of the company’s culture of innovation, delivering a rich, personalized experience that curates all of ESPN’s incredible content around each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ is also be available through ESPN.com.

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