ESPN+ To Live Stream Over 300 Matches of Top Tier, International League Soccer
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.,” says 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 Ezequiel 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+.