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Updated: 4 December 2014, 12:33 EST

ESPN Caribbean Highlights - December 2014

ESPNCaribbean.com

ESPN Caribbean Network Highlights for December 2014

Wrap 2014 with ESPN and great sports coverage including more NBA and NFL regular season games, NCAA College Football Bowl Games, the 2014 MLS Cup and more international football with the Europa League and action from England, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and beyond, plus much more...

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA)

The National Basketball Association (NBA) continues LIVE on ESPN, and the fireworks are certain to fly as 2014 draws to a close. The Eastern Conference has a different look now that LeBron James is back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, although the Chicago Bulls are expected to be powerful this year, the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors are pegged for breakout seasons, and the Miami Heat still boast two of the game's best in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Western Conference remains incredibly competitive, as veteran Tim Duncan and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs look to stay ahead of, among others, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder as well as the tough Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks. Top games this month include the Spurs in action against the Memphis Grizzlies, Trail Blazers and New York Knicks and the Heat hosting the Atlanta Hawks, while the Mavericks close the month facing Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA Wednesday and NBA Friday season coverage airs LIVE on ESPN (airing Thursday and Saturday AUS), with games airing on short-turnaround on ESPN2.

Schedule: LIVE coverage - Host team shown first
Dec 03 07:30pm Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
Dec 05 08:00pm Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs
Dec 10 08:00pm San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks
Dec 12 07:00pm Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Dec 17 08:00pm Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets
Dec 19 08:00pm San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Dec 26 08:30pm Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (NFL)

The National Football League (NFL) wraps the regular season this month, making every game crucial for teams hoping to make an appearance in the NFL Playoffs in January. One reason for the NFL's lasting popularity - besides great action on the field, where skill and strategy meet pure physical strength - is the parity in the league, where upsets and the rise of unexpected challengers is a weekly occurrence.

The AFC is loaded, with Peyton Manning (who passed Brett Favre for the league's record for career touchdown passes in October) and the Denver Broncos, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and the Andrew Luck-led Indianapolis Colts expected to be leading the charge towards the playoffs. The NFC, meanwhile, has challengers on all fronts, with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and division rival San Francisco 49ers pushing to keep pace with a group of serious contenders led by the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, among other squads that have stepped on the accelerator as the regular season draws to a close.

Top games this month feature the Seahawks taking on the Arizona Cardinals and the Broncos facing the Cincinnati Bengals, plus the Patriots against the San Diego Chargers, the Packers versus the Atlanta Falcons, and the impressive Dallas Cowboys going up against the soaring Philadelphia Eagles. Coverage of the NFL airs LIVE all season on ESPN.

Schedule: LIVE coverage - Host team shown first
Dec 01 08:15pm New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
Dec 07 08:15pm San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots
Dec 08 08:15pm Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Dec 14 08:15pm Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Dec 15 08:15pm Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints
Dec 21 08:15pm Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Dec 22 08:15pm Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos
Dec 28 08:15pm NFL Football - Teams TBD

NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL - Season-ending Bowl Games and the new CFP

NCAA College Football wraps this month with LIVE coverage on ESPN/ESPN2 of select Bowl Games plus the new College Football Playoff (CFP)

It's the start of an exciting new era in NCAA College Football, which wraps the regular season this month. ESPN and ESPN2 present LIVE coverage of the traditional season-ending Bowl Games, followed by the College Football Playoff (CFP) to crown a new champion. The new postseason format creates an exciting four-team playoff - with two semifinals played in bowl games - that preserves all the excitement of the regular season while respecting the long bowl tradition that fans love so much.

ESPN's lineup in December includes select coverage of traditional bowl games, followed on December 31 and January 1 by the CFP Bowls, led by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and the two Playoff Bowls this year, the Rose Bowl and Allstate Sugar Bowl. Defending national champion Florida State (ACC) remains a favorite to make a CFP appearance, joined by the SEC's Auburn and Alabama and Pac-12's Oregon, not to mention some surprise challengers led by Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Coverage airs LIVE on ESPN. Stay tuned in January for the CFP and the crowning of a new national champion at the Championship Game in Arlington, Texas. NOTE: Schedule not all-inclusive; other games may air during the month.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Dec 06 08:00pm ESPN Primetime College Football
Dec 20 03:30pm Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl - Las Vegas, NV
Dec 27 01:00pm Military Bowl - Annapolis, MD
Dec 27 04:30pm New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Bronx, NY
Dec 27 08:00pm National University Holiday Bowl - San Diego, CA

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (MLS) - MLS CUP

The MLS Cup - airing LIVE on ESPN

Major League Soccer (MLS) crowns a new champion this month with LIVE coverage on ESPN of the season's biggest event, the MLS Cup. Now in its 19th season, MLS is showing all the energy of an athletic teenager, but with the maturity of an adult who just gets better and stronger with the passing years. Seattle Sounders FC topped the Western Conference most of the season, becoming the first side to claim a playoff spot back in September, but have had their hands full with a reenergized Los Angeles Galaxy, not to mention skilled teams like Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas.

In the East, the defending league champions, Sporting Kansas City (who claimed last year's MLS Cup over RSL), have again been dangerous, with D.C. United and the New England Revolution staying firmly in the hunt. Meanwhile, the Thierry Henry-led New York Red Bulls seemed to find their form late in the season, keeping MLS Cup hopes alive as the season wound down.

ESPN's coverage of Major League Soccer airs all season, LIVE and on short-turnaround, wrapping with LIVE coverage on December 7, 3:00pm, of the 2014 MLS Cup.

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Matchday #6 wraps the UEFA Europa League Group Stage - coverage continues on ESPN

The UEFA Europa League, Europe's second level of club football after the UEFA Champions League, continues on ESPN in December with coverage of Matchday #6, the final matchday in the Group Stage. This month's action determines the final clubs who will be taking the field in February in the Round of 32. Holders Sevilla of Spain are looking to stay ahead of Dutch club Feyenoord in Group G and continue the defense of their title.

Italian clubs started the competition in sharp form, with Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Napoli all winning their opening games, joined by Russia's Dinamo Moskva and Ukraine's Dynamo Kyiv. Even more surprising has been the success of Legia Warszawa, who have raised their game on the prospect of playing in the final in their home city in May 2015. Meanwhile, the only side to have played in all six editions of the UEFA Europa League, the Netherlands' PSV Eindhoven, is pushing to advance from Group E.

ESPN's coverage of the UEFA Europa League airs LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the competition. LIVE matches re-air same day at 8:00pm and 10:00pm. Stay tuned in February for coverage from the Round of 32.

Schedule:
Dec 11 12:55pm UEFA Europa League - Matchday #6 (L)
Dec 11 03:00pm UEFA Europa League - Matchday #6 (L)
Dec 11 05:00pm UEFA Europa League - Matchday #6 (S)
Dec 12 01:00am UEFA Europa League - Matchday #6 (S)
(L) Live; (S) Short-turnaround

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE and the CAPITAL ONE CUP

The thrills never stop - catch continuing coverage from the English Premier League airing LIVE on ESPN

Don't miss a goal with ESPN's continuing LIVE coverage from the Barclays Premier League, England's highest level of club football. Defending champions Manchester City, winners of two league championships in the past three years, are again top contenders for the title, fronted by Argentine striker Sergio Agüero and a midfield loaded with talent that includes veteran Frank Lampard and younger stars like Samir Nasri and David Silva.

Still, it has been Chelsea - with Spain's Diego Costa now up front  jumping out to an early lead in the standings, followed closely by Manchester City, while the usual suspects - Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United - continue to work on finding their rhythm. Manchester United is especially hungry to get back on top this season, and behind famed manager Louis van Gaal it's likely they will.

ESPN's coverage of the English Premier League airs all season, LIVE and on short-turnaround, featuring 1-2 matches per week. Also featured throughout the season are games from the Capital One Cup, an entertaining knockout competition last won by Manchester City. NOTES: EPL not available to cruise lines; matches airing on short-turnaround/taped on ESPN Caribbean will air LIVE on ESPN2 Caribbean.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Dec 03 02:45pm Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Dec 06 07:45am Newcastle vs. Chelsea
Dec 08 02:45pm Southampton vs. Manchester United
Dec 13 10:00am Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Dec 15 02:45pm Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers
Dec 16 02:40pm Capital One Cup
Dec 17 02:40pm Capital One Cup
Dec 20 07:45am Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace
Dec 22 02:45pm Stoke City vs. Chelsea
Dec 26 10:00am Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City
Dec 29 03:00pm Liverpool vs. Swansea City
*NOTE: English Premier League not available to cruise lines.

MORE INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL - Spanish Primera División, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, Dutch First Division, French Ligue 1 and more...

Fans know where to find the best coverage of world football - it's right here with ESPN/ESPN2's weekend coverage of matches from Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil and more

The lineup of top international football airing every weekend on ESPN and ESPN2 can't be beat, as the strongest leagues, best sides and most accomplished players take center stage. Coverage includes the Spanish Primera División and games from the Copa del Rey, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, Dutch First Division, French Ligue 1, Portuguese Liga and Brazil's Campeonato Brasileiro, the latter wrapping this month.

The Spanish Primera División, Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga are currently, along with the English Premier League, home to many of the biggest talents and toughest sides in the game. While Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Leo Messi keep their clubs atop La Liga, Juventus is battling for a fourth straight "scudetto" in Italian Serie A, while Bayern Munich is going for a third consecutive title in Germany.

The Dutch First Division yearly attracts some of the largest crowds in all of Europe as fans can't get enough of the fast and physical style of play in the Netherlands, epitomized by legendary Ajax, while French Ligue 1 boasts one of the biggest talents in the game, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is possibly in his last season with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Portuguese Liga - home to famed clubs like Benfica, Porto and Sporting - continues to deliver great action, while the Campeonato Brasileiro, Brazil's top level of football, crowns a new champion this month, with favorites for the title including defending champions Cruzeiro and past champions São Paulo and Corinthians.

Catch weekly football coverage from around the world airing LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the season on ESPN and ESPN2; dates/times TBC closer to airdate.

ESPN FC

ESPN's roundtable talk show, ESPN FC, continues five days a week, Monday to Friday. Viewer email helps set the agenda as a variety of entertaining hosts - fronted by Tommy Smyth, Shaka Hislop and a top-flight lineup of world football experts - debate the game's hottest issues.

This popular program reviews weekend matches and previews upcoming mid-week action from the UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and other notable national/international matches. Also spotlighted are recaps of mid-week matches and previews of upcoming weekend matches, plus a weekly studio segment from the United Kingdom.

ESPN FC airs Monday to Friday at 7:00pm, joined by a Sunday program airing in the evening.

OLBERMANN

Uninhibited, unflinching and utterly unpredictable - join Keith Olbermann weeknights on ESPN

Late-night on ESPN recently got a bit spicier with the debut at the end of August of Olbermann, a late-night program focusing on the latest sports topics making news. A mix of interviews, highlights and panel discussions, blended with Keith Olbermann's unique perspective and insightful commentary, promises a show that is certain to be the topic of conversation around the water-cooler the following day.

Olbermann's colorful history includes a stint at ESPN back in the 1990s, followed by work at NBC, Fox and MSNBC, where he hosted a primetime political news program. With his distinctive personality, sophistication and saavy, Olbermann delivers a nightly hour of sports television that is thought-provoking and entertaining and never, ever dull. It is one hour of late-night sports programming not to be missed.

Olbermann airs weeknights at 11:00pm on ESPN.

NOTE: All TIMES EASTERN. ALL SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS.