For years ESPN has done ok with their soccer coverage but that appears to be changing.
First last summer the four letter decided to go out and get Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray to help with their EURO 2008 coverage, which was a great success. Then they decided to added a Soccernet Press Pass show once a week to ESPN Classic. Add all of that to this weekend, when ESPN showed extended highlights of the United Chelski game during their prime time Sports Center special focusing on the NFL. The network has also started showing scores from the Barclay's Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A. Don't forget the network has been covering the UEFA Champions League for more then a decade.
So why after years has the network decide to commit to the beautiful game, its simple the network is trying to position its self to get the rights to the BPL. The right are due to come up in the next couple of years and the network might be tipping its hand to show that they can do a good job covering the league.