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#TBT: Bundesliga’s ABC Debut Saturday Latest Network Milestone In Long Soccer Legacy

This timeline celebrates ABC's coverage of iconic moments through the years leading up to FC Bayern München vs. Borussia Dortmund

ABC will broadcast its first-ever German Bundesliga match Saturday at 12 p.m. ET as FC Bayern München faces Borussia Dortmund in the latest installment of the “Der Klassiker” rivalry between the two most successful clubs in German soccer.

Saturday’s match adds to ABC’s rich history of broadcasting “The Beautiful Game.” Other premier events to air on the network through the years include multiple FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship tournaments, Major League Soccer, and more. The timeline below chronicles some of the most significant events through the years.

(Bundesliga)

EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to the ABC broadcast, FC Bayern München vs. Borussia Dortmund will stream live on ESPN+, the U.S. home for Bundesliga matches, and air live in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. The ESPN+ presentation will feature an exclusive Star Cam feed featuring players Gio Reyna and Alphonso Davies. ESPN+ and Bundesliga will also host a special “Der Klassiker” virtual watch party. Fans can register to attend here.

(ABC Photo Archives)

1979

Jim McKay interviews Brazilian soccer star Pele for ABC’s Wide World of Sports. In 1979, ABC televised the North American Soccer League for the first time, including the NASL’s Soccer Bowl championship game.

(Perry McIntyre)

1994

ABC and ESPN combine to present the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, the first time the premier event was played in America. The ABC schedule features many memorable matches, including the U.S. National Team opener vs. Switzerland in Pontiac, Mich., on the second day of tournament play.

1996

ABC televises the inaugural MLS Cup during Major League Soccer’s debut season. DC United defeats LA Galaxy in a driving rainstorm at Foxboro Stadium.

(ABC Photo Archives)

1999

In arguably the most historic match in US Soccer history, ABC chronicles the U.S. Women’s National Team victory over China in the Women’s World Cup Final. More than 90,000 fans pack the Rose Bowl and a then-record television audience of 18 million viewers watched the broadcast.

2008

ABC televises a Major League Soccer-Euro 2008 Final doubleheader that features David Beckham playing for the LA Galaxy followed by Germany vs. Spain – the first UEFA European Championship to air on ABC.

2010

ABC and ESPN again combine to present the FIFA World Cup. The ABC schedule is highlighted by the historic USA vs. England match in Rustenburg, South Africa on the second day of play, which resulted in a 1-1 tie.

(Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

2014

Coverage of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil on ABC and ESPN concludes with Germany defeating Argentina in the Final at famed Maracana Stadium in Rio.

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