via press release:
FX and FOX Soccer TELEVISE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
SEMIFINALS APRIL 26-27; MAY 4-5
World’s Most Prestigious Clubs Showcased:
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid and Manchester United vs. Schalke 04
“FOX Soccer on FX” and FOX Soccer Broadcasts Hosted by Curt Menefee Debut New Champions League Studio Set at FOX Network Center
Los Angeles (April 21, 2011) – As UEFA Champions League, the preeminent competition in world club soccer, nears its thrilling climax, FOX Soccer ramps up its coverage with exclusive live high-definition telecasts of the semifinals beginning next week. For the first time ever FX, Fox Network Group’s popular basic cable network delivered to 99 million US homes, brings viewers “FOX Soccer on FX,” for one game in each semifinal with the other two games appearing on FOX Soccer.
The first leg of the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League semifinals begins on Tuesday, April 26 as FC Schalke 04 hosts Manchester United (FOX Soccer), followed by Real Madrid hosting FC Barcelona on Wednesday, April 27 (FX). Second leg matches begin on Tuesday, May 3 as Barcelona hosts Real Madrid (FOX Soccer) and continues on Wednesday, May 4 as Manchester United hosts FC Schalke 04 (FX). All exclusive, English-language semifinal HD telecasts begin at 2:30 p.m. ET.
FOX NFL SUNDAY host Curt Menefee and FOX Soccer’s Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan preview and analyze Champions League semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, presented by Geico, live at 2 p.m. ET each matchday from FOX Soccer’s brand-new, state-of-the-art studio set at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles.
This year’s Champions League semifinals showcases arguably three of the richest and most supported clubs in world soccer – Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona – and a tournament Cinderella in German club Schalke 04, reaching its first Champions League semifinal. Each team has advanced to the semifinals through significant contributions from its globally-iconic stars.
Barcelona and Real Madrid feature two of the world’s most renowned players in Lionel Messi (Barcelona; 2010-11 Champions League-best nine goals), and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid; six Champions League goals this term). Seven of Spain’s 2010 World Cup Champion starting 11 play for Barcelona and three for Real Madrid. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the opening quarterfinal leg against Chelsea, while Schalke’s Champions League run coincides with the addition of former Real Madrid star Raul, who has scored a Champions League-best 71 career goals.
Real Madrid, unrivaled with nine European Cups and 31 La Liga titles, and Champions League favorite Barcelona, a three-time Champions League winner (1992, 2006, 2009) and perhaps headed for a 21st La Liga crown, take their storied “El Clasico” rivalry to another level. Both clubs display waves of offensive flair having scored a 2010-11 Champions League-leading 24 goals and ensure Spanish representation in the May 28 final at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Manchester United, a three-time Champions League winner (1968, 1999, 2008) and a strong contender for a 12th English Premier League title, secured a 3-1 aggregate against rival Chelsea on outstanding performances by a peaking Wayne Rooney and Mexican standout Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Hernandez leads the club with four goals in the current Champions League campaign, but it was Rooney’s lone goal against Chelsea in the first leg of the quarters that put Chelsea in a deficit to the aggregate and United never looked back.
Schalke 04 made believers out of many by convincingly dispatching 2010 Champions League winner Inter Milan, 7-3 on aggregate, in the quarterfinals. Schalke seeks to achieve an unprecedented championship double, having reached May’s German League Cup (DFB Pokal) final.
WHAT: Live, exclusive, English-language coverage of the UEFA Champions League semifinals in high definition. Coverage begins each matchday with UEFA Champions League Pregame on FX and FOX Soccer Channel, presented by Geico, at 2 p.m. ET.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 26 – 2:30 p.m. ET
FC Schalke 04 (GER) vs. Manchester United FC (ENG) Live on FOX Soccer
Wednesday, April 27 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Real Madrid CF (ESP) vs. FC Barcelona (ESP) Live on FX
Tuesday, May 3 – 2:30 p.m. ET
FC Barcelona (ESP) vs. Real Madrid CF (ESP) Live on FOX Soccer
Wednesday, May 4 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Manchester United FC (ENG) vs. FC Schalke 04 (GER) Live on FX
FOX Sports, for the second straight year, broadcasts the UEFA Champions League Final, Saturday, May 28 with pre-match coverage beginning at 2:00 pm ET, live from London.
FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from the FOX Networks Group. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 99 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning original series, acquired hit series, and an established film library with box-office hits from 20th Century Fox and other studios. For more information about FX, visit our web site at www.FXnetworks.com.
About FOX Soccer
FOX Soccer, part of the FOX Sports Media Group, offers the most comprehensive multi-media coverage of world-class soccer available in the United States. Encompassing FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Soccer Plus, FOXsoccer.com and FOXsoccer.tv, the network serves as the primary television and online destination in the U.S. for elite club competitions including England’s Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Matches from Italy’s Serie A, Women’s Professional Soccer, and the Australian Hyundai A-League are also featured prominently, in addition to such global tournaments as the English FA Cup, CONCACAF Champions League™ and CONCACAF Gold Cup. Flagship FOX Soccer Channel is Nielsen-rated and available to service providers in high-definition, reaching more than 38 million cable and satellite households nationwide. FOX Soccer Plus is a premium network complementing FOX Soccer Channel by providing the best international sports experience in high-definition. In addition to live, exclusive soccer matches from the best leagues in the world, FOX Soccer Plus also delivers premium rugby from the Magners League, Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup among other competitions. Live match coverage is also available online via premium broadband service FOXsoccer.tv, and for fans on-the-go, via the new FOX Soccer iPhone app. For more information – as well as news, features, analysis stats and more – visit one of America’s most-trafficked online soccer destinations at FOXsoccer.com, and the network’s Facebook page and Twitter feed (@FOXSoccer).
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; FOX Soccer Channel and FOX Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com, scout.com and yardbarker.com, reaching over 27 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox’s interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.