ESPN Acquires Multimedia Rights to NextGen Series Football Tournament Through 2016

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ESPN Acquires Multimedia Rights to NextGen Series Football Tournament Through 2016

September 25, 2012

To tweet this release: http://es.pn/PqoMXV

ESPN has acquired multimedia rights to the NextGen Series, an annual European tournament featuring the future stars of football from 24 renowned European clubs.  Under the four-year agreement, beginning with the 2012-13 season and running through 2015-16, ESPN has exclusivity to the event in the United States, Brazil, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania and the Middle East.

In all, ESPN International will telecast 18 matches on its television networks around the world this season, including the semifinals and final. All NextGen matches will also be carried live on ESPN’s broadband platforms ESPNPlay.com (the Caribbean and Latin America), WatchESPN (Brazil) and ESPN3.com (the Middle East and Oceania). ESPN’s upcoming coverage of NextGen includes the Inter Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund match onWednesday, Sept. 26 at 1 PM ET, followed by Wolfsburg vs. Barcelona on Wednesday on October 3 at 11:30 AM ET.

“The NextGen Series is a tremendous showcase for young talent developing at Europe’s top football clubs,” said Michael Walters, vice president, programming, ESPN International.  “In addition to getting a forecast of who may shine in Europe’s top leagues and the UEFA Champions League in the near future, fans will get a first look at future internationals who may lead their countries at World Cup 2014 and EURO2016.”

Justin Andrews, co-founder of the NextGen Series commented: “We’re delighted to be introducing NextGen to so many new territories outside Europe, and via such a great broadcaster. There is a clear appetite for NextGen across the globe, giving fans the chance to follow the future stars of football.”

Several goal scorers have emerged in the current group stage this season, including England’s Chuba Akpom of Arsenal; Italian Stefano Padovan, the Juventus striker; France’s Nicholas Rajsel of Paris St. Germain; and Turkey’s Beykan Simsek of Fenerbahce.

The clubs participating this season include some of the most recognized teams in Europe such as Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Inter Milan, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Ajax, PSV, PSG, Marseille, Celtic United, Fenerbahce, Sporting Lisbon, Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow, Anderlecht, Molde and Rosenborg.

In the group stage, the 24 clubs are divided into six groups of four, and play home and away matches.  The top two teams from each group advance, along with the top four third-place teams.  These 16 teams compete in the single-leg, knockout stage.

Now in its second year, graduates of the NextGen Series include 17-year-old winger Raheem Sterling of Liverpool, Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner, Ajax forward Davy Klaassen and Celtic striker Tony Watt.

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Media Contact:

ESPN: Ardi Dwornik at 646-547-5612, [email protected]

NextGen: MacLaurin Media; 020 8237 4604, [email protected]

About ESPN International

ESPN International is a division of ESPN, Inc., which has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 48 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of additional businesses that allow ESPN to reach sports fans in over 200 countries and territories across all seven continents. ESPN International business entities include television, radio, print, internet, broadband, wireless, consumer products, and event management. The company and its holdings maintain offices or production facilities in key locations around the world including Bangalore, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Miami, Mumbai, New York City, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taiwan, and Toronto. Since 1983, ESPN (originally founded in Bristol, Connecticut, in 1979) has been growing around the world, establishing itself as the leading global sports media brand. The company’s philosophy to global growth is to always serve sports fans and be locally relevant to them, with content and products that tap into their great passion and dedication.

ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products.

About NextGen: The NextGen Series is a six month European competition featuring some the finest rising football talent on the continent. Twenty-four of Europe’s elite football clubs are involved including FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC and Inter Milan. Founded in August 2011, the NextGen Series was created by Brentford Sporting Director Mark Warburton and TV Producer Justin Andrews. Having garnered worldwide coverage as a leading European football tournament the NextGen Series has expanded from 16 to 24 teams for this season. www.nextgenseries.com, @nextgenseries

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