US sports broadcasters unite for disaster relief campaign

Sports broadcaster ESPN has joined forces with a number of rival operators in the US to simulcast coverage of the Liga MX, the top division of football in Mexico, as part of a fund-raising initiative designed to support people affected by a series of natural disasters in the Americas.

In what is claimed to be a first in US sports broadcasting Azteca America, beIN Sports, ESPN, Fox, Fusion TV, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network have teamed up in the relief effort for recent natural disasters in Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Florida and Texas. 

Part of Univision Communications’ ‘Unidos por los Nuestros’ campaign supporting the American Red Cross, the sports broadcasters will air more than 10 hours of Liga MX action as well as special programming, in English and Spanish, encouraging viewers to donate funds for disaster relief. Live coverage started yesterday (Tuesday) and will continue today (Wednesday).

Proceeds from the two-day on-air fundraising event will benefit the American Red Cross and its relief efforts in the areas most heavily affected by these natural disasters.

On September 19, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake killed more than 300 people in Mexico City and the states of Estado de Mexico, Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca and Puebla.

Liga MX and Copa MX games were postponed after the earthquake and this week’s matches will be the first in the Mexican top flight since the tragedy.

Dozens of people were also killed and hundreds more left homeless after a series of hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, several areas in the Caribbean, as well as Florida and Texas in the US.

“Over the last few weeks, millions of people have been dramatically impacted by the natural disasters in the Caribbean, Mexico and the US and as sports broadcasters we have a unique opportunity before us,” Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of sports for Univision Communications, said.

“Sports has always been a great unifier and a vehicle for social change. Through this historic effort, we can bring all our resources, platforms and fans together to make a difference in the lives of communities that are in dire need. We thank our partners Azteca America, beIN Sports, ESPN, Fox and Fusion TV for their collaboration in this landmark industry effort.”