Wrexham, the Welsh football club, is set to make its first appearance on ESPN+ for the 2023/24 season. After a handful of features last season, the club is back on the streaming service as the cup season continues in England and Wales.
Wrexham is gearing up for an FA Cup tie in the first round proper of the competition. The action is set to take place at Mansfield Town on Saturday, Nov. 4, with kickoff scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET. As a member of League Two, Wrexham did not participate in any of the qualifying stages of the tournament.
Instead, it joins the competition alongside the other 47 teams from League One and League Two. In total, 80 teams are competing in this round. Wrexham, from the fourth tier, will face Mansfield, another fourth-tier team.
Wrexham back on US screens this weekend
This is the first game of the season for Wrexham airing on ESPN+. While ESPN+ holds the rights to League One and League Two games, it typically only streams one or two games per month, usually during international breaks. This round of the FA Cup, although not during an international break, still offers an opportunity for American fans to watch Wrexham on US TV.
Last season, hundreds of thousands of American fans tuned in to watch Wrexham as it embarked on a magical run to the fourth round of the FA Cup. The team narrowly lost to Sheffield United, then in the second division, in a replay at Bramall Lane. Now, fresh off promotion into the Football League, Wrexham is back in the FA Cup.
League Two minnows enjoying disproportionate popularity stateside
Wrexham's popularity in the United States is largely due to the "Welcome to Wrexham" docuseries that follows the club. The team's famous owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, also contribute to its popularity. Last season, some of the FA Cup games aired on traditional ESPN channels.
For instance, the replay in the fourth round against Sheffield United was broadcasted on ESPN2. The original tie between the two was ESPN’s most-followed soccer game that week, attracting more viewers than Brighton versus Liverpool or Bayer Leverkusen against Borussia Dortmund.
Hollywood-backed Welsh side seeking second consecutive promotion this season
After its promotion, Wrexham has continued its fine form in the new division. Currently, Wrexham sits third in League Two with 30 points after 16 games. Although it's still early in the campaign, third place in League Two is good enough for automatic promotion to League One.
Last season, Wrexham supporters considered the FA Cup run a bonus to what was a historically dominant season from the Red Dragons. If the club can replicate another impressive run, it could help push the club to achieve more success in the league.
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