Coming off a successful season, and in all likelihood having a club that will be one of the favorites to finish near the top of the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference, apparently is not good enough to get the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC included on a 22-game ‘Game of the Week’ schedule on various ESPN television platforms for USL Championship’s that was released on Thursday.
“We’re very pleased to see so many of our clubs getting exposure on the national stage,” said USL CEO, Alec Papadakis. “Our partnership with ESPN is elevating our league to new heights, and we could not be happier with its ability to bring our league to soccer fans across the United States.”
On the heels of the 2018 USL Cup, which aired for the first time on ESPN2 and in 50+ countries world-wide, Eastern Conference contenders Nashville SC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies will meet in the Championship’s first nationally-televised regular-season contest on ESPN2 at First Tennessee Park on May 8. ESPNews will serve as the home for the remaining seven linear broadcasts in 2019, kicking off with a clash between expansion side Memphis 901 FC and ATL UTD 2 at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, April 10.
The USL Championship Game of the Week package will kick off on ESPN3 in March when newcomer New Mexico United welcomes Tulsa Roughnecks FC to Isotopes Park on March 20.
For the fourth consecutive year, every game will be produced by USL Productions, the league’s state-of-the-art broadcast production and distribution facilities established in partnership with VISTA Worldlink in south Florida. Over the course of 2019, USL Productions will produce and distribute more than 700 matches and more than 1,500 hours of original content to national partners and local affiliates across the USL Championship and USL League One seasons.
Pittsburgh Soccer Now contributor Matt Gajtka announced last month that he’ll be returning to the booth as the play-by-play man for Hounds home broadcasts once again. The club plans to announce more details about local broadcast deals at a later date.
All games will be available via ESPN Plus.
2019 USL Championship Game of the Week on ESPN
March 20 – New Mexico United vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN3
April 10 – Memphis 901 FC vs. ATL UTD 2, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNews
April 17 – Austin Bold FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3
April 30 – Louisville City FC vs. Memphis 901 FC, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3
May 8 – Nashville SC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
May 22 – Birmingham Legion FC vs. Nashville SC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNews
June 5 – New Mexico United vs. OKC Energy FC, 9 p.m. ET, ESPNews
June 18 – Reno 1868 FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3
June 26 – San Antonio FC vs. El Paso Locomotive FC, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPNews
July 3 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. Fresno FC, 11 p.m. ET, ESPN3
July 12 – Real Monarchs SLC vs. Tacoma Defiance, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN3
July 17 – North Carolina FC vs. Loudoun United FC, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3
July 24 – Orange County SC vs. Reno 1868 FC, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN3
July 31 – New Mexico United vs. El Paso Locomotive FC, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Aug. 7 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. Las Vegas Lights FC, 11 p.m. ET, ESPNews
Aug. 21 – North Carolina FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNews
Aug. 30 – Louisville City FC vs. Indy Eleven, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Sept. 11 – Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Sept. 18 – Saint Louis FC vs. New York Red Bulls II, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Oct. 2 – El Paso Locomotive FC vs. Fresno FC, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Oct. 9 – Hartford Athletic vs. Birmingham Legion FC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNews
Oct. 19/20 – To Be Decided, ESPN3