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Sky, ESPN unveil initial Premier League coverage fixtures

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Sky will open its Premier League campaign for 2012/13 with Wigan's match against Champions League winners Chelsea, while ESPN will start its final campaign with Newcastle United taking on Tottenham Hotspur.

For the coming season, Sky will once more broadcast 115 games live, while ESPN will show just 23, although they will all be Saturday kickoffs at 5.30pm.

Ford Super Sunday kicks off Sky's season, as Wigan Athletic take on Robert Di Matteo's Chelsea on Sunday 19, August at 1.30pm, followed later on the same day with Premier League champions Manchester City welcoming promoted team Southampton to the Etihad stadium at 4pm.

Runners up Manchester United will also feature in Sky's August coverage, along with Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Sam Allardyce's West Ham United.

Sky's August Fixtures in Full:

Sunday 19: Wigan v Chelsea (1.30pm)
Sunday 19: Man City v Southampton (4pm)
Monday 20: Everton v Man Utd (8pm)
Saturday 25: Swansea v West Ham (12.45pm)
Sunday 26: Stoke v Arsenal (1.30pm)
Sunday 26: Liverpool v Man City (4pm)

The full rundown of Sky's 42 fixtures up to the end of November is available here.

"We're all looking forward to the start of the Premier League and we begin with a bang; Champions League winners Chelsea, Premier League champions Manchester City and Manchester United all in our opening weekend," said Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports.

"These selections provide our viewers with huge head-to-heads, major derbies and every team at least twice, all in the first three months of the season.

"We have the biggest names providing the most insightful analysis and commentary plus a wealth of unrivalled support programming. I'm sure it'll be another fascinating football season on Sky Sports."

ESPN has held Premier League TV rights ever since 2009, when the US broadcaster picked up the games previously held by the collapsed sports channel Setanta UK.

However, the company was outbid for the rights from 2013/14 onwards in a recent auction, after BT agreed a £600m-plus, three-season deal with the Premier League for rights to 38 games per season.

ESPN has said that its final season will feature Premier League matches all with Saturday 5.30pm kickoffs, starting with the resurgent Newcastle versus Andre Villas-Boas's Tottenham on August 18.

The following week, ESPN will join Newcastle again as the team travels to West London to take on Chelsea.

Champions Manchester City will feature on ESPN three times before the end of the year, including games against Queens Park Rangers (September 1), Swansea City (October 27) and West Ham United on (November 3).

Jeroen Oerlemans, the vice president TV channels at ESPN, Europe, said: "Football fans watching ESPN's Barclays Premier League coverage in the coming months will be able to follow the very top sides as well as the newly-promoted outfits.

"Alongside ESPN's offering of top football coverage from around the UK and Europe, we look forward to the start of what promises to be another fantastic season of football on ESPN."

ESPN's Premier Leagues fixtures (all 5.30pm kickoffs):

August

Saturday 18: Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday 25: Chelsea v Newcastle United

September

Saturday 1: Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers
Saturday 15: Sunderland v Liverpool
Saturday 29: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

October

Saturday 6: West Ham United v Arsenal
Saturday 20: Norwich City v Arsenal
Saturday 27th: Manchester City v Swansea City

November

Saturday 3: West Ham United v Manchester City
Saturday 17: Norwich City v Manchester United
Saturday 24: Aston Villa v Arsenal

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