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ESPN pounces for Serie A rights in US

Sports broadcaster ESPN has acquired rights in the US for Serie A, the top division of Italian club football.

The length of the multi-year deal, which begins with the 2018-19 season, was not disclosed.

Under the agreement, the ESPN+ digital platform will offer more than 340 matches per season, while ESPN channels, including the main channel, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, will broadcast one Serie A match every week.

ESPN+ will also show a weekly preview show and highlights, as well as a goals-of-the-week programme and exclusive one-hour season preview and review programmes.

The deal will begin with live coverage of Chievo Verona v Juventus on August 18.

ESPN struck the deal with the IMG Media agency, Serie A’s international rights-holder.

IMG Media’s senior vice-president for North America, Hillary Mandel, said that it had been “an extremely competitive” sales process “with multiple networks and platforms interested in the rights”.

BeIN Sports broadcast coverage of Serie A in the US last season.