Networks Kick Off La Liga Coverage


La Liga kicked off its 2009-10 season with GolTV and ESPN services in tow.

The soccer-centric GolTV will air UD Almeria against Real Valladolid on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. (ET).

A hybrid network that provides its feed in both English and Spanish, Gol began its opening weekend with a preview show on Aug. 29, as well as coverage of restocked Real Madrid's 3-2 defeat of Deportive La Coruna that day.

Throughout the season, Gol will follow the 20 teams in Spain's top league with live match coverage. For a complete La Liga programming schedule, click
For its part, ESPN will step onto the circuit's pitch on Sunday, with Spanish-language service ESPN Deportes carrying Athletic Bilbao at Espanyol at 11 a.m. and Sevilla at Valencia at 1 p.m. Broadband service also will present the matches.
ESPN gets in the game Monday, with FC Barcelona, the reigning league champs and Champions League kings, facing Sporting at 4 p.m. That match also will be available on ESPN Deportes and the broadband service.
The worldwide leader gained La Liga rights through a sublicensing deal with Gol in June.

Earlier this month, ESPN2, through a deal with Fox Sports International, netted the rights to 48 English Premier League matches through the conclusion of the 2009-10 campaign next May. The games were culled from Setanta USA's holdings that it gained through a sublicending pact with Fox Soccer Channel.

Both the La Liga and EPL deals come on the boots of Fox Sports International and Setanta US ending ESPN2's 15-year reign in the States with the Champions League, as they outbid the Bristol, Conn.-based network for rights to the UEFA property.