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ESPN Africa unveils electrifying schedule

High-octane sports showdowns include Major League Cricket, 30 for 30 sports documentaries, and the European football season kicking off in August.

At the ESPN Sports Fest this weekend, the channel unveiled an electrifying line-up of non-stop action from American leagues and new sports documentaries. From basketball, to American football and now cricket, ESPN promises sports fans across the continent a feast.

From Friday 5 July, ESPN will be the home of the American Major League Cricket, the US domestic Twenty20 cricket league. The league starts with MI New York v Seattle Orcas, live on 5 July at 21:30 (CAT), with three games per week, leading up to the finals at the end of the month.

Michael Stefanic #38 of the Los Angeles angels bats against the Arizona diamondbacks

A slate of new programming from ESPN Films’ Peabody and Academy Award-winning 30 for 30 series will premiere across Africa from this month, providing unprecedented access to some of the most compelling stories in sports. First up, 30 for 30 False Positive will premiere tomorrow (Wednesday 3 July) at 20:00, looking into the life of former track and field superstar Butch Reynolds. It traces his relentless battle to clear his name following drug accusations, revealing systemic flaws within sports governance and the enduring impact of false accusations on an athlete’s legacy. 30 for 30 I’m Just here for the Riot, which premieres on Wednesday 10 July at 19:00, chronicles the aftermath of the Canucks’ Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Boston Bruins, raising deeper questions about fandom, violence, and the shocking power of an angry crowd.

30 for 30 No Scope: The Story of FaZe Clan premieres on Sunday 21 July at 19:00 and gives a wide-ranging, eye-opening, and unsparing look at the popular e-sports team, and the remarkable series of ups and downs that have defined the individual gamers. 30 for 30 Dude Perfect: A Very Long Shot traces the meteoric rise of a group of friends from College Station, Texas, whose backyard antics evolved into a global sports-comedy phenomenon, on Wednesday 7 August at 20:00.

Serena Williams of USA during day 1 of the US Open 2022, 4th Grand Slam event of the season at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Tennis fans can look forward to the 8-part documentary In the Arena: Serena Williams, which is set to premiere on ESPN on Friday 21 July at 20:00. Williams dominated tennis for over two decades, winning 23 Grand Slams (singles) and changing the sport forever. This series will provide the most complete, intimate, and compelling account of her legendary career, featuring firsthand perspective from Serena and key figures throughout her life, on Tuesday evenings with one premiere episode per week for eight weeks. Also, on Wednesday 31 July at 20:00, 30 for 30 American Son captures a pivotal moment in sports history, chronicling the remarkable journey of Michael Chang, the tennis prodigy whose ascent to fame coincided with an unfathomable and unforgettable upset of Ivan Lendl at the 1989 French Open.

Kyrie Irving (11) of the Dallas Mavericks and Jayson Tatum (0) of Boston Celtics in action during the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals game between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks

Basketball fans can settle in for a series of showdowns as the American Olympic Basketball (USAB) team lead up to the Paris Olympics. Mark your calendar for these fixtures:

DateTime (CAT)Match-UpLocation
Wed. 10/7/247:30 PMUSAB vs. CanadaLas Vegas
Mon. 15/7/248:00 PMUSAB vs. AustraliaAbu Dhabi
Tues. 16/7/24TBCAustralia vs. SerbiaAbu Dhabi
Wed. 17/7/248:00 PMUSAB vs. SerbiaAbu Dhabi
Sat. 20/7/248:00 PMUSAB vs. South SudanLondon
Mon. 22/7248:00 PMUSAB vs. GermanyLondon
Sun. 21/7/248:00 PMUSAB vs. GermanyLondon

From Monday 29 July at 20:30, the series Sports Woman will premiere with one new episode each week. Showcasing inspiring stories of female athletes across all sports and cultures, this remarkable series recognises the elite, the inspiring and the diverse, through the untold motivational stories of endurance, and overcoming challenges and adversity. Additionally, from 5 August, ESPN will broadcast the 26-part series, The Rising. This timeless series recognises the importance of the many courageous acts that has brought about change, in sport and well beyond.

Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda (22) prepares to kick the ball during the NWSL game

Soccer fans across the continent will be delighted to see the new European football season kick off this August. Viewers can expect a record number of leagues on ESPN this season, including the EFL (English Football League), Dutch Eredivise, the Scottish Premiership, Belgian Pro League, the German DFB Cup and continue to enjoy the NWSL (National Woman’s Soccer League)

As the weather warms, fans can look forward to the start of the NFL (National Football League) season on Friday 6September and the NBA (National Basketball Association) regular season on Tuesday 22 October.

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