Behind The Scenes

ESPN in UK and Ireland features
Liverpool-Everton FA Cup SemiFinal

The 2012 FA Cup

LONDON — On Saturday in the UK and Ireland, ESPN will televise live, exclusive coverage of the FA Cup SemiFinal between Liverpool and Everton beginning at 11 a.m. local time.

The game brings together two of England’s biggest rivals as they meet in the FA Cup for the first time since 2009.

Liverpool faces mounting pressure to win the FA Cup following a disappointing run in the Barclays Premier League, while Everton manager David Moyes will be targeting Cup success to mark 10 years at the helm of the club. Both teams have an impressive FA Cup pedigree: Liverpool have notched seven tournament wins, while Everton have lifted the trophy five times.

ESPN in the UK and Ireland’s coverage will include a 90-minute build-up from a custom-built set, and will feature 37 cameras, including pictures from the Goodyear blimp, as well as super slow motion cameras.

Native Merseysider Ray Stubbs will be the host, and he will be joined by ex-Blues Martin Keown and (guest pundit) Graeme Sharp and ex-Reds (and ESPN analysts) Kevin Keegan and John Barnes. See a match preview by clicking here.

Coverage will also feature a special segment — The Bench — developed in collaboration with Budweiser, which will feature fans, ex-pros and celebrities discussing the match. Guests for this will include former Everton star Kevin Ratcliffe and former Liverpool star Ian Rush.

So far this season on ESPN in the UK and Ireland, ratings for the FA Cup are up 16 percent year-on-year. Nearly four million people have watched the FA Cup on ESPN this season. In fact, the FA Cup accounts for two of the top three best performing matches since ESPN launched its signature local network in the market in 2009 (Arsenal versus Aston Villa on January 29, 2012; Arsenal versus Leeds United, Jan. 9).

Around the world, ESPN networks televise the FA Cup in more than 40 countries, reaching more than 210 million homes in Latin America, including Brazil, and Asia, through our joint venture ESPN Star Sports.

Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, one thing is certain—come Monday, preparations begin in earnest for ESPNUK coverage of the FA Cup Final on May 5, back at Wembley, where one of the Merseyside representatives will take on one of the London clubs, with Spurs and Chelsea set to face off Sunday evening in the other semi-final.

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