ESPN will provide extensive coverage of South America’s premier club cup competition, the Copa Libertadores, including every game from quarter-final stages onwards exclusively live.
The 2013 edition of the continent’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League will feature big names such as Ronaldinho, Luis Fabiano and Alexandre Pato.
ESPN will air a total of 32 games throughout this year’s tournament, starting with the first stage preliminary qualifying rounds on Wednesday, January 23, as Brazil’s Sao Paulo take on Bolivian outfit Bolívar, with further live games from the competition to be announced in due course.
For the second year running, ESPN will provide live and exclusive televised coverage of the competition.
The action will continue with a live game each week during the 32-team, eight-group second stage between February 12 and April 18.
ESPN will broadcast eight games from the Round of 16 as the tournament enters the knock-out stages, and will then air every game in the competition live from the quarter-finals through to the final.
Each knock-out game is a two-legged tie, up to and including the final, which takes place on June 27 and July 4.
Copa Libertadores will give viewers the chance to see the best teams and brightest stars in South American football as they compete for the continent’s biggest trophy.
The reigning champions are Sao Paulo giants Corinthians, who beat one of the competition’s most decorated teams, Boca Juniors, 3-1 on aggregate in the 2012 final for their first ever title.
The Brazilians went on to defeat European champions Chelsea and win the FIFA Club World Cup in December.
Corinthians are once again amongst the top seeds for 2013, along with the likes of Argentina’s Arsenal and Velez Sarsfield, Ecuadorian side Barcelona and Sporting Cristal from Peru.
Alongside ESPN’s live games its Copa Libertadores coverage will include repeats of games the following day.
The competition joins ESPN’s range of top quality domestic and European club football during the remainder of the 2012/13 season, including the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, Serie A, Bundesliga and UEFA Europa League.
ESPN takes over the rights to broadcast Copa Libertadores from Premier Sports, who covered the previous two editions of the competition.