ESPN's Global Soccer Ambitions

Less than two weeks remain until the new season gets under way for Europe's big soccer leagues. Global stars like Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard will be lacing up their cleats and taking to the field in front of hundreds of thousands of screaming stadium fans and millions of TV viewers around the world. But they're not the only ones warming up for the games: U.S.-based cable sports giant ESPN—a unit of Disney (DIS)—is making a major new play in the lucrative world of European soccer.

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