ESPN have released details of the forthcoming season.
The new Aviva Premiership Rugby season kicks off in September, with ESPN offering the first of its 43 live and exclusive matches through the season – including one semi final and the final – weekly TV highlights, classic Premiership Rugby games and extensive online coverage via ESPNscrum.com.
ESPN’s live televised coverage of the new season opens with the now traditional double-header at Twickenham on Saturday 3rd September as London Irish take on Harlequins at 2pm BST. The action continues straightaway as current champions, Saracens, start the defence of their crown against London Wasps at 4:30pm. The following week, Harlequins and London Wasps are in action again on ESPN as they face championship hopefuls Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers, respectively.
Upon the announcement of the initial live fixtures for the 2011/12 Aviva Premiership Rugby season, Jeroen Oerlemans, VP & Channel Manager, ESPN, Europe, Middle East and Africa said:
“After a very successful first year of the Aviva Premiership Rugby on ESPN, we will continue to look at innovative ways to evolve and enhance our coverage to improve the experience of viewers and get them as close to the action as possible.”
ESPN’s live televised Aviva Premiership matches will be broadcast on-site at all the grounds from a custom built set, with all pre and post match discussion being led by Mark Durden-Smith alongside analysts Austin Healey and Ben Kay, as well as a special guest from the world of rugby every week. Commentary will come from Nick Mullins together with Healey and Kay, the former England and Leicester second row. Sarra Elgan continues as ESPN’s chief rugby reporter, bringing all the news and player interviews from pitchside.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Highlights returns for the new season and will air every Monday evening at 8:30pm. Hosted by ESPN’s rugby team, the weekly show will look back at the best of the weekend’s action and discuss the key talking points alongside a special studio guest.