via press release:
FOX SPORTS & FOX DEPORTES TO TELEVISE
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Bayern Munich & Chelsea FC Square-Off in Munich for World’s Most-Coveted
Club Soccer Prize on May 19
Viewership Has Increased 10-Fold in 10 Years
Los Angeles – Only two teams and one game remain in the 2012 UEFA Champions League, the world’s most-watched elite club soccer tournament. On the grandest stage of European soccer, German club Bayern Munich and England’s Chelsea FC face off inside UEFA Fußball Arena Munchen on Saturday, May 19 in Munich, Germany. Bayern has the advantage of being the first team to play a UEFA Champions League Final in its home stadium, while Chelsea is on a quest to capture its first European Cup. For the third consecutive year, FOX Sports is broadcasting this showcase event live, with coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET.
Live from Munich, FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee serves as event host, with FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone hosting on-site studio coverage. FOX Soccer analyst and American National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda joins Tottenham goalkeeper and former United States National Team player Brad Friedel for pre-game, halftime and post-match analysis. Legendary Sky Sports play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler calls the match with analysis from former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.
FOX Soccer’s pre-game coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET preceding FOX Sports’ over-the-air programming. FOX Deportes is carrying the match live in Spanish, and FOX Soccer re-airs the match at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday night with FOX Soccer Plus doing the same at 5:00 PM ET on Sunday, May 20.
After a week of lead-up programming, FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports cable network, begins its coverage on May 19 at 1 PM ET with UCL Final Preview, live from Munich. Match coverage begins at 2:30 PM ET, followed by the post-match celebration at 5:00 PM ET on Lo Mejor de la UCL. At 5:30 PM ET, FOX Deportes airs La Ultima Palabra, a special one-hour postgame show live followed later on by an encore match presentation at 10:30 PM ET. Manning FOX Deportes’ Los Angeles studio are Mauricio Cardenas and Bruno Vain. John Laguna, Christian Bozzo and Daniel Brailovsky are on-site in Munich with reporters Nelson Vignolles and Alejandro Blanco.
U.S. viewership of the UEFA Champions League Final has exploded in recent years. 2011 was the seventh straight year that English-language viewing increased in the U.S. Over the last 10 years, the audience has increased almost 10-fold, from 264,000 viewers on ESPN in 2002 to 2.6 million on FOX in 2011.
The 2011 Champions League Final is the highest-rated and most watched in U.S. history. FSMG’s coverage on FOX (1.4 HH rating, 2.6 million viewers) and FOX Deportes (0.7 HH rating, 1.6 million viewers) combined to generate a 2.1 household rating and 6 share, drawing an audience of 4.2 million viewers nationally, dwarfing the ratings and audience of 2010 by +75% (1.2) and +91% (2.2 million), respectively. Significantly, the 2011 match on FOX and FOX Deportes also bettered the 2009 match, which featured the same Barcelona and Manchester United clubs, by +62% on rating (2.1 vs. 1.3) and +24% on viewership (4.2 million vs. 2.1 million).
Completing one of the most stunning comebacks in UEFA Champions League history, Chelsea is riding significant momentum into Munich after knocking out reigning champion FC Barcelona. After falling behind 2-0 on the road in its second-leg clash with the Catalans, Chelsea stormed back to secure a 2-2 draw, allowing the Blues to advance to the Final 3-2 on aggregate. Remarkably, Chelsea pulled off this feat down a man, after captain John Terry was red carded in the first half. In order to hoist the famed Champions League trophy, Chelsea will have to defeat Bayern without Terry and suspended teammates Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles. This is Chelsea’s first Final since 2008, when the Blues lost to Manchester United.
Bayern Munich returns home to Bavaria and has the support of is home fans in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The club already has four European Cups/Champions League titles to its name, having last won the competition in 2001. Managed by Jupp Heynckes, Bayern advances to the tournament’s final stage after defeating Real Madrid on penalties in the second-leg of the semifinals. Bolstered by wingers Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, the German side has one of the most potent attacks in Europe. Bayern forward Mario Gomez is the second leading scorer in this year’s Champions League (12).