Recently, fans reported noticing some USL matches in the "upcoming" section of their ESPN3 streaming service. Then on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced that they would be hosting the first of 20 regular season matches to be streamed with the sports media giant.
You'll forgive us, therefore, if we're a little underwhelmed by today's announcement by the league confirming the Riverhounds release, and trumpeting that this year's championship final would be aired, "on an over-the-air ESPN network."
USL announces partnership with @espn ⚽️ https://t.co/WX5LZg772r pic.twitter.com/Ztf2YSQlZ3— USL (@USL) April 22, 2016
Even if this isn't the first time you're hearing this, it's obviously a coup for the league, bringing much-needed legitimacy and exposure as it angles toward Division 2 status. Included in the arrangement is league coverage on "ESPN FC through the network's television and digital platforms."
The first six "games of the week" to be shown on ESPN3 have been released, and Sacramento Republic's Bonney Field clash with Real Monarchs on June 8 rounds out the slate. Despite the game being on a Wednesday, the league and the club will obviously be hoping for a full house.
Still to come, and perhaps enhancing today's news is, according to USL President Jake Edwards, "an exciting broad based media and digital content strategy shortly..." Let's hope this includes statistics on the website.
What are your thoughts on the announcement? Leave a comment below!