NEW YORK - Soccer fans can now get a full serving of the world's most popular sport as Verizon and ESPN360.com team up to bring Americans online coverage of the quarterfinals, semifinals and the final for the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League.
The UEFA Champions League playoffs, featuring live matches between world-class teams from across Europe, will be presented in April and May exclusively online via the ESPN360.com network and its TV-quality video-streaming technology. The matches are available at no extra charge as part of Verizon Online's extensive entertainment feature lineup for Verizon FiOS Internet and Verizon High Speed Internet subscribers.
"ESPN360.com's more than 3,000 live sporting events every year, delivered over Verizon's fast, reliable broadband networks, create the ultimate online sports-watching experience" said Shawn Strickland, vice president for Verizon marketing. "Now our broadband customers also can enjoy some of the best soccer competition in the world as teams from across Europe battle for the 2009 Champions League title."
The portability of ESPN360.com's online viewing allows any Verizon broadband customer -- at home, at work or on the road -- to access the high-caliber soccer competition anywhere the customer has a broadband connection. With many of the newer flat-screen TVs offering PC connections, soccer fans can also use the large screens as a monitor for their online viewing.
Through a sleek, simple interface that functions like a digital recorder, ESPN360.com delivers up to 20 simultaneous live events and gives consumers control over their broadband sports-viewing experience, providing reliable, television-quality video and the ability to pause, rewind and fast-forward live events.
"With ESPN360.com, Verizon customers have access to a lineup of top global soccer, no matter where they are," said Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN360.com. "It's just one example of how a service like ESPN360.com serves the displaced and underserved fan, 365 days a year."
To learn more about logging on to ESPN360.com with Verizon broadband, visit http://www.verizon.com/espn or call 1-877-895-8111.
One of the world's premier soccer competitions, and among the largest global sporting events, the UEFA Champions League features professional teams from member associations in 53 nations. The competition begins in September and runs through May, and is comprised of a group stage and four knockout rounds. The group stage features 32 teams in eight groups of four, playing 96 matches. The first knockout stage features 16 matches over two weeks; the second stage (quarterfinals) features eight matches over two weeks; and the third (semifinals) features four matches over two weeks. The final is a single match.
Among the teams competing in the 2009 quarterfinals are English Premier League clubs Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal; Spanish La Liga clubs Barcelona and Villareal; and FC Porto (Portuguese Liga Sagres) and Bayern Munich (German Budesliga). Quarterfinals in the Champions League run from April 7 to April 15, and the semifinals will be played from April 28 to May 6. The final will be played May 27 in Rome.
In addition to the UEFA tournament games, ESPN360.com is the online home for the best in global soccer in the U.S. It provides coverage of all major FIFA World Cup events, UEFA EURO, Football League (U.K.), Carling Cup, Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga Sagres, U.S. National team, the World Football Challenge and many top domestic leagues from around the globe.
Additionally, ESPN360.com provides thousands of live sporting events each year. From NBA, MLB and college football games to sports like cricket and rugby, ESPN360.com features a wide variety of programming to satisfy every sports fan.
Verizon broadband customers can access the ESPN360.com programs and other entertainment features through the Surround entertainment portal at http://surround.verizon.net.
Verizon's FiOS Network delivers America's top-rated Internet service, with download speeds up to 50 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps, as well as the best high-definition TV experience through FiOS TV. Verizon High Speed Internet, based on DSL technology, beat the average cable provider in reliability and cost in PCMag.com's 2008 readers survey.
Both Verizon High Speed Internet and FiOS Internet subscribers have access to an extensive collection of online features and services, including PC protection with Verizon Internet Security Suite; Verizon Enhanced Email; Verizon Premium Tech Support; Online gaming; free news from ABC News Now; and more.
ESPN360.com is ESPN's live sports broadband network, giving fans a 24/7 online destination that delivers more than 3,000 live, global sports events annually. It is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. ESPN360.com is currently available in nearly 25 million homes, up 40 percent in the past 12 months and more than triple its distribution just 2 years ago. It is available via approximately 45 Internet service providers nationwide. It is also available at no cost to approximately 18 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks (those with ".edu" and ".mil" domains).
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 80 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.