Corporate synergy strikes again!
On Monday, World Soccer Talk reported that ESPN2 will be airing Wrexham AFC’s FA Cup qualifier match with Blyth Spartans on Saturday morning, which begins at 8 AM ET.
Yes, that is a match between a fifth-tier club and a sixth-tier club on national American television. This match isn’t for a trophy or a title or anything – it’s a fourth round qualifier to earn entry into the FA Cup First Round. Teams from the Premier League and Championship don’t even enter until the third round, so we’re still a couple of rounds away from the FA Cup matches that force the Premier League to take the weekend off.
Why is this match airing? Simple: Welcome to Wrexham. The docuseries, which was immediately greenlit for two seasons, airs on Disney-owned FX. Three more episodes, the last of the season, will air this Wednesday, days before the club’s match with Blyth. Naturally, there’s a fine corporate tie-in between the series and airing live matches on an ESPN platform. And while ESPN has plenty of soccer rights (including the Bundesliga, EFL, La Liga, and MLS), just three matches have a kickoff time as early as the Blyth-Wrexham – a Bundesliga 2 match between Fortuna Dusseldorf and 1. FC Nurnberg, a Championship context between Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town, and a La Liga duel between Girona and Cadiz.
So yeah, while the Wrexham match airing on ESPN2 is an eye-opener, it’s not as if the timeslot has much else going on this weekend.