EPL gets 1st US live network telecast

NEW YORK (AP) ? Without much fanfare, soccer will take another big step into the American mainstream this weekend when Manchester United’s game at Arsenal will be shown by Fox, becoming the first English Premier League match to be televised live by a U.S. over-the-air network.

EPL games are more common on television in the U.S. than in England, where many matches are blacked out to protect attendance of matches in the lower leagues.

In the U.S., pretty much every game is available if a fan is willing to channel surf cable broadcasters and online services.

Ratings for the EPL are up 8 percent on Fox Soccer and 12 percent on ESPN2.

And while Fox Soccer is available in 41 million homes, its over-the-air network is received in 114.7 million homes.