Univision Deportes and ESPN Announce Agreement to Increase Reach of Mexican Soccer in the U.S.


Univision Deportes and ESPN Announce Agreement to Increase Reach of Mexican Soccer in the U.S.

Univision Deportes and ESPN Announce Agreement to Telecast Mexican National Team Matches in the U.S. Through 2014, in Spanish and English Respectively

Deal Marks First Time Mexican National Team Matches Will be Available Regularly in the U.S. in both Spanish and English; Underscores Increasing Popularity of Mexican Soccer in the U.S.

Univision Deportes, the sports arm of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, and ESPN, the leading sports media brand in the United States, have formalized an alliance to increase the reach of the Mexican National Soccer Team (nicknamed “El Tri”) in the U.S.  The agreement grants ESPN’s English-language networks and digital platforms the media rights to Mexico’s home FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and international friendlies. The English-language coverage will complement Univision’s popular Spanish-language coverage of the Mexican Team on broadcast, cable and interactive platforms.

As part of the agreement, Univision Deportes and ESPN have secured the U.S. media rights to all of Mexico’s home matches, both qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and international friendlies, in Spanish and English respectively. The alliance will also allow Univision Deportes and ESPN to collaborate on special content focused on the Mexican National Team.

The series of 20 matches will begin Wed., Jan. 30, with an international friendly in Phoenix, Arizona, vs. Denmark at 10 p.m. ET (in Spanish on UniMás/Univision Deportes Network and English on ESPN2/WatchESPN), and conclude with the team’s last match before the 2014 World Cup. 

Univision Deportes and ESPN will also televise the much-anticipated Mexico vs. USA match in Mexico City on Tuesday, March 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET – the first leg of a home and away matches between the two rivals in the Hexagonal Round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying series for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) region.

“Univision Deportes is committed to expanding access to soccer properties in the US across our platforms and with partnerships such as this one with ESPN,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes. “Bringing together the leading sports brand in Hispanic America with the leading sports entity in English-language media undoubtedly speaks to the growing popularity of soccer in the U.S. and underscores Univision’s commitment to grow soccer in the U.S.”

“The Mexican National Team plays an exciting brand of soccer that has attracted a passionate, loyal fan base not only in Mexico but throughout the U.S.,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming.  “As ESPN continues to build towards the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, this agreement represents an opportunity to add a premier soccer property that will appeal to all fans, including our growing Hispanic audience.”

Univision Deportes will continue to broadcast Mexican National Team matches in Spanish across Univision Network, UniMás, Univision Deportes Network with additional content on its digital and social platforms. Matches will be preceded by live editions of “Futbol Central” (Soccer Central). ESPN will have access to match highlights across ESPN studio programs such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC Press Pass, First Take, SportsNation, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, and ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning (simulcast on ESPN2). Univision Deportes and ESPN will also each have a reporter pitch-side access during select El Tri matches.

Univision Deportes and ESPN will follow the Mexican team as it seeks to qualify for Brazil 2014 – capturing the arc of El Tri’s “Road to Brazil 2014” narrative – as well as its preparatory matches for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and, if it qualifies, the 2014 World Cup. The Mexican National Team is seeking to reach its sixth straight FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  The team is the reigning CONCACAF Gold Cup champion and in June, will represent CONCACAF at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.  Mexico won its first soccer Gold Medal at the Olympics in London, in a 2-1 victory over favored Brazil at Wembley Stadium, last summer. 

2013 El Tri on Univision Deportes (in Spanish on Univision Network and UniMás) and on ESPN (English):

***Additional matches in the Mexican National Team’s U.S. Tour will be announced at a later date

Date Time Matchup Location Competition
Jan 30 10 p.m. México vs. Denmark Phoenix, Ariz. FMF Tour
Feb 6 9:30 p.m. México vs. Jamaica Mexico City World Cup Qualifier
March 26 TBD México vs. USA Mexico City World Cup Qualifier
April 17 TBD México vs. TBD TBD (U.S.) FMF Tour
June 11 TBD México vs. Costa Rica Mexico City World Cup Qualifier
June 16 3 p.m. México vs. Italy Rio de Janeiro Confederations Cup
June 19 3 p.m. Brazil vs. México Fortaleza Confederations Cup
June 22 3 p.m. Japan vs. México Belo Horizonte Confederations Cup
Sept 6 TBD México vs. Honduras Mexico City World Cup Qualifier
Sept 10 TBD USA vs. México TBD World Cup Qualifier
Oct 11 TBD México vs. Panamá Mexico City World Cup Qualifier

In addition to the Mexican National Team, Univision Deportes and ESPN already hold the media rights, in Spanish and English, respectively, to the U.S. National Team as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. 

ESPN and Soccer in the United States

ESPN is committed to offering comprehensive coverage of the world’s premier soccer events in the United States.  ESPN is the English-language television home – and other languages, except Spanish – in the U.S. for the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup and other FIFA events through 2014.  The media company is also the English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship through 2016™, and a collection of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from UEFA nations – Spain, Germany, France and more.  ESPN’s multimedia platforms also provide extensive coverage of a myriad of top-tier international leagues – Barclays Premier League in England and the U.S., the Dutch Eredivise, Mexico’s Liga MX, and Major League Soccer in the U.S., as well as telecasts of the United States National Team matches, international friendlies, and more.

About Univision Deportes

Producing more than 10,000 hours of live sports across its platforms every year, Univision Deportes’ properties portfolio includes rights to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the qualifiers in the lead up to the tournament, plus 12 of the 18 teams within the Liga MX and the Chivas team beginning July 2013, the Copa MX, the Mexican National Team, the U.S. Men’s National Team, the German National Team, the DFB Cup, the French National Team, the French Cup, France’s Ligue 1, the Under 23 Mexican National Team, Major League Soccer, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League, the CONCACAF Men’s Under 17, the CONCACAF Men’s Under 20, the CONCACAF Women’s Under 17, the CONCACAF Women’s Under 20, the CONCACAF Futsal Championship, the FIFA 2013 Confederations Cup, the FIFA Under 20 World Cups, the FIFA Under 17 World Cups, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, the FIFA Futsal World Cup, DKB Handball Bundesliga, international friendlies, Liga Endesa, volleyball and boxing. Univision Deportes also provides comprehensive coverage on all the latest from the MLB, NBA, NFL and much more.

About Univision Communications Inc.

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Its assets include Univision Network, one of the top five networks in the U.S. regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the country reaching 96% of U.S. Hispanic households; UniMás, a leading Spanish-language broadcast television network reaching 89% of U.S. Hispanic households; Univision Cable Networks, including Galavisión, the country’s leading Spanish-language cable network, as well as Univision tlnovelas, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to novelas, Univision Deportes Network, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to sports, ForoTV, a 24-hour Spanish-language cable network dedicated to news, and an additional  suite of six cable offerings – De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson, Telehit and Distrito Comedia; UVideos, the first bilingual digital network serving Hispanic America; Univision Studios, which produces and co-produces reality shows, dramatic series and other programming formats for the Company’s platforms; Univision Television Group, which owns and/or operates 62 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Hispanic radio group which owns and/or operates 69 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Interactive, a network of products and offerings including Univision.com, which continues to be the No. 1 most-visited Spanish-language website among U.S. online Hispanics, Univision Móvil, a longstanding industry-leader with unique, relevant mobile products and services, and Univision Partner Group, a specialized advertising and publisher network. Headquartered in New York City, UCI has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit Univision.net

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Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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