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ESPN reaches agreement to show Premier League in the U.S.

NEW YORK — ESPN has reached an agreement with Fox Sports International to televise a package of Premier League matches in the U.S. for 2009-2010 beginning Saturday and through the completion of the season in May.

Under the agreement, ESPN2 will offer up to 48 live matches this season, including live presentation of the 12 Monday afternoon matches.

ESPN2 will feature one match each Saturday at 7:45 a.m. Eastern time and select Saturday matches at 10 a.m. (when there are no matches at 7:45 a.m.)

ESPN is televising Premier League matches in Britain for the first time this season.

The first match scheduled to be televised is Chelsea vs. Hull City on Saturday followed by Wigan Athletic vs. Manchester United on Aug. 22.

"The Barclays Premier League is one of the crown jewels of professional sports throughout the world," said Scott Guglielmino, vice president of programming, ESPN. "We're pleased to work with Fox Sports International to bring some of the league's marquee matchups to ESPN2 in our continued efforts to serve soccer fans in the United States."