ESPN+ Snags Exclusive U.S. English-Language Rights To Copa America Soccer

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ESPN+ will be the exclusive English-language home of soccer’s 46th CONMEBOL Copa America, which will unfold in Brazil between June 14-July 7.

The entire 26-match tournament will be carried on the subscription streaming service in English as well as in Portugese.

The first Copa America event was held in 1916, 14 years before the first World Cup, making it the oldest and longest-running continental tournament in soccer. The biennial competition features the 10 South American national teams (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) of the CONMEBOL Confederation. Two non-CONMEBOL teams are also invited to play. This year’s non-South American countries are Qatar and Japan.

Soccer has been gathering steam for a generation as a TV draw, but the Copa America features a number of recognizable stars including Neymar of Brazil, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Luis Suarez of Uruguay. Chile, led by Alexis Sanchez, is the two-time defending Copa America defending champion.

ESPN+, which launched a year ago, has scooped up rights to numerous soccer leagues and tournaments, billing itself as a “must-have service for soccer fans in the U.S.” and airing more than 1,000 matches. Its offerings include the Emirates FA Cup; Italy’s Serie A, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana; more than 100 live matches from the UEFA Nations League; and more than 250 Major League Soccer out-of-market matches.

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