ESPN Gets Dream Matchup For Last Champions League Final

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ESPN will be broadcasting their last Champions League final, before the rights move over to FOX Sports, and the "Leader" couldn't have hoped for a better matchup. Barcelona will take on Manchester United today at 2:25pm on ESPN and ESPN360 live from Rome, and ESPN can't hide its excitement. Via the NY Times....

“We’re going out with a bang,” Mike Walters, the vice president of programming for ESPN International, said in a telephone interview. “We’re not going to mistreat or somehow shortchange this property because we’re not televising it in the U.S. next year.”

The game will be shown in high-definition on ESPN in the United States and other countries (and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, which will offer a 90-minute pregame show), while the network will also beam the game to more than 167.8 million households in 115 countries around the world, including in Latin American, Africa, the Pacific Rim, Asia and Canada. ESPN2 will carry a one-hour preview show on Tuesday, the day before Manchester United attempts to defend its title, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The match will also be available on the broadband network ESPN will also present halftime and postgame in-studio analysis.

“It’s really a dream final,” Adrian Healey, one of ESPN’s studio analysts, said in a telephone interview. “These are the two best teams in Europe and it’s one game to determine the champion. But I think what really makes it intriguing, with all the focus on the managers, the players and the history, is that these two clubs really haven’t won that many European titles. ManU has been outshone by its domestic rival Liverpool and Barcelona by Real Madrid.”

“It’s no secret that we made a run to continue, we’ve been nurturing and growing the event here for 15 years,” Walters said. “We’re never happy to see something go elsewhere, but properties come and go. We’re all really in the rights rental business. We don’t have a divine right to air it year to year, unless it’s something you’ve created yourself, like the X-Games. But this certainly is a loss.”
The final should be a awesome (Manchester United is a -130 favorite), and ESPN couldn't have got a better final to go out on. In fact, it's so important that they actually sent Derek Rae, Tommy Smyth and Dave Roberts, to Rome to call the event in person. If anything exciting happens during the game, I'll be sure to have the video for you.

ESPN Gears Up for Final Final (NY Times)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 10:43 AM


I'm willing to put good money on the final being boring, maybe end 1-1 and go into penalties.

Whenever you have two offensive-minded teams go against each other, they'll always want to put up a defensive shell so they don't get blitzed. With all of that firepower I see tentative play all-around and Barcelona winning 1-0 in extra time.

This isn't 2005, where AC Milan were 3-0 at halftime and somehow lost the game to Liverpool. I just don't see this being a classic.

Suits ESPN right.

TJX said...
May 27, 2009, 11:19:00 AM  

If anything exciting happens during the game...

I'm guessing that it won't.

GMoney said...
May 27, 2009, 11:51:00 AM  

A great chance exists the game could end in a scoreless tie. If that's the epitome of excitement, Bryant Gumble is the best NFL announcer of all time. Come on AA, Rome is Burning is getting preempted for this?

Brad James said...
May 27, 2009, 1:57:00 PM  

Actually, there's zero chance of it ending in a 0-0 tie. Regulation could end like that, but they'll play two extra time periods and then progress to a shootout to determine a winner.

May 27, 2009, 2:10:00 PM  

2-0 the final to Barca.

Can't win them all....still got 3 trophies!

TJX said...
May 27, 2009, 4:41:00 PM  

They always send Rae and Smyth to the final.

May 27, 2009, 5:33:00 PM  

I was always curious about that. Does Rae typically do the play-by-play from television in the United States (or wherever it is he resides)? I think he's absolutely phenomenal and I'd love to hear him on some of the big FSC games.

Anonymous said...
May 27, 2009, 9:37:00 PM  
Anonymous said...
Sep 26, 2009, 7:41:00 AM  

Post a Comment