We’re already into November — how on Earth did that happen? We’ve no idea where 2017 has gone, but worry not, there’s still plenty of entertainment on the box for you this month before the festive season gets into full swing. Sports fans across the country will be able to get their fix from ESPN’s busy November schedule. Here are our highlights for viewers to make a mental note of.
Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed the schedule for the upcoming playoffs for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup. While the MLS Cup final itself will be hosted on Saturday, December 9, all of the drama of the conference semifinals and conference championship series will be played this month. It’s also the 22nd year of this tournament schedule, which culminates in the one-off, winner-takes-all MLS Cup final. It will be hosted by the finalist with the superior regular season record.
All initial first legs were very hotly contested towards the end of last month, with only New York City taking a comprehensive lead into their second-leg tie with the Columbus Crew. Two of the first legs ended in goalless stalemates, which is sure to create plenty of high drama. Canadian soccer fans will be particularly interested in watching Toronto FC defend their 2-1 first-leg lead against the New York Red Bulls.
ESPN is also showing daily action from the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, which attracts the most colorful characters from the poker-playing world and even Hollywood celebrities in a bid to win the eye-watering first prize. Co-commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachern remain the main attraction for viewers, with Chad’s zany personality marrying well with McEachern’s knowledgeable, laid-back persona.
This year’s WSOP 2017 Main Event winner received $8.15m and with 7,221 entrants into the main event, it is clear that poker is still very much alive and kicking. The game’s leading networks and brands are trying hard to evolve the game by providing new and exciting games, i.e. PokerStars’ Power Up, to attract newcomers and provide a fresh take on poker for seasoned players and pros alike.
Finally, UFC 217 in New York promises to be one of the most exciting MMA cards of the entire year. The main event? Former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre is back in the octagon to fight the current middleweight belt holder Michael Bisping for his title. St-Pierre has been away from MMA for almost four years while in the meantime, Bisping has gone on to enjoy the best winning spell of his UFC career to date. Something will have to give on that night!
It was last November when UFC visited New York’s Madison Square Garden for the very first time with Conor McGregor as the headline act drawing a 20,000-plus crowd and a record-breaking revenue of approaching $18m. Aside from the St-Pierre vs. Bisping title fight, there are two other title fights on the card that will be screened by ESPN: Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw and Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal. There is a general consensus that Cody Garbrandt could be the next big UFC star since Conor McGregor turned his attention to professional boxing, and it will be exciting to see whether he lives up to the hype on November 4.