ESPN acquires US rights to Euro playoffs

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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) -- ESPN has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to the playoffs for next year's European Championship.

The network said Wednesday that the four series on Friday and Tuesday will be carried on ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes. ESPN Deportes will provide live coverage of the Portugal-Bosnia matches and the second leg between Croatia and Turkey.

In addition, Ireland plays Estonia and Montenegro meets the Czech Republic. The four winners join defending champion Spain, co-hosts Poland and Ukraine, as well as Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia and Sweden in the 16-nation field for next year's tournament, which runs from June 8 to July 1.