ESPN to beam Euro 2008 live and exclusive

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) Its party time for soccer fans as all the matches of UEFA European Football Championship 2008 starting from June 7 will be telecast in India live and exclusive by the ESPN network.

The sports broadcaster also announced a host of production and marketing initiatives aimed at enhancing this exciting property lined up for soccer enthusiasts around the country.

UEFA EURO 2008 will showcase a bonanza of 31 thrilling matches including 24 first round matches, four quarterfinals and two semifinal matches from June 19. The final will be played in Vienna on June 29.

The tournament will be held in eight cities: Basel, Geneva, Vienna, Klagenfurt, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Zurich and Berne.

Speaking on the occasion, ESPN Software India Managing Director RC Venkateish said, ''India today consumes more international soccer than ever before. The reach of Barclays Premier League has been growing at more than 40 per cent per annum since 2005. We expect impressive ratings for UEFA Euro 2008 as it is one of the most prestigious and recognisable sporting properties in the world.'' ''The championship is rated as the second biggest sporting event globally when it comes to TV viewership and we believe that this year television viewership will touch even greater heights,'' he added.

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