ESPN Kicks Off Champions League Final Today

ESPN is going all out with its coverage of the UEFA Champions League today.

The total sports network is casting its multimedia net around the May 27 event pitting English Premier League champion Manchester United, led by FIFA world player of the year Christiano Ronaldo, against La Liga titlist FC Barcelona, topped by Lionel Messi, the player who may become this year's top futboler.

Through its various networks, ESPN will make the top club championship available to 167.8 million households in 115 nations and territories U.S., Canada, Latin America, Africa, the Pacific Rim and Asia.

The 2009 final marks the 15th straight year ESPN and its international networks have televised the Champions League final. However, it will be the last for at least three years in the States as Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports USA outbid the sports leader for rights to the tourney from 2010 through 2012.
In addition to the live 2009 Champions League final telecast, ESPN will deliver its "game around the game" coverage with news, information, highlights and analysis across its media platforms in the U.S. and beyond. ESPN's global coverage will feature 14 on-air commentators from State Olimpico in Rome. The on-site commentators calling the match in three languages: Fernando Palomo, Quique Wolff, Juan Yankilevich, Jose Ramon Fernandez, Martin Ainstein (Spanish television), and Jorge Ramos and Hernan Pereyra (Spanish radio); Derek Rae, Tommy Smyth, and Dave Roberts (English); and José Trajano, Paulo Andrade, Paulo Vinicius, and Andre Kfouri (Portuguese).
Stateside, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise the match on May 27 at 2:25 p.m. (ET). Classic will encore the match at 5:30 p.m.