ESPN to broadcast English Football League games in U.S. this season

ESPN will broadcast live games from the English Football League in the United States this season.

BAMTech, of which ESPN is a minority owner, reached a deal this week to acquire the U.S. rights to the games in the second, third and fourth divisions of English football -- the Championship, League One and League Two -- as well as the Carabao Cup, the newly rebranded league cup.

ESPN then reached a separate agreement with BAMTech to air the games, which will primarily be shown on digital platforms through WatchESPN, ESPN3 and the ESPN App.

Rights to the EFL in the U.S. had previously belonged to BeIN Sports.

The first game will air on Friday as Sunderland host Derby County, while two games Saturday will feature Fulham-Norwich City and Aston Villa-Hull City, and Bolton Wanderers face Leeds United on Sunday.

The top two teams in the Championship are promoted to the Premier League for the following season, with a third joining them after a four-team playoff -- the final of which has been deemed the world's "most expensive football match" because of the high stakes.