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Updated: 30 April 2015, 15:54 EDT

ESPN Caribbean Highlights - May 2015

ESPNCaribbean.com

May is non-stop action on ESPN headlined by the NBA Playoffs, ATP World Tour tennis and Roland Garros, plus motor sports with the Verizon IndyCar Series, MotoGP, AMA Pro Motocross and NHRA Drag Racing, the Triple Crown, more world football with the UEFA Europa League and coverage from England, Spain, Germany, MLS and more.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA)

The NBA Playoffs continue LIVE on ESPN

The sizzling NBA Playoffs continue in May, with the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals setting the stage for the crowning event, the NBA Finals, coming in June. The Golden State Warriors, led by high-scoring Stephen Curry, have shaken things up in the tough Western Conference, leaving favorites like the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and defending champion San Antonio Spurs - not to mention the scrappy Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets - scrambling to catch the leaders.

While LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers struggled to find their rhythm in the early part of the season, they pulled themselves together and have steadily climbed the standings. Challenging the Cavaliers for the Eastern crown are the soaring Atlanta Hawks, enjoying their best season ever, as well as the sleek Chicago Bulls - where Pau Gasol has been on fire - and the surprisingly consistent Toronto Raptors.

Live coverage of the NBA Playoffs continues on ESPN throughout the month. This month's action features the Conference Semifinals (beginning May 5) and the Conference Finals (beginning May 19). Stay tuned in June for the crowning of a new champion with coverage on ESPN of the NBA Finals.

Schedule: LIVE coverage NBA Conference Semifinals May 5 - 15 NBA Conference Finals May 19 - 31

TENNIS - 2015 ATP World Tour

More coverage of the ATP World Tour airing LIVE on ESPN with clay court action from Madrid, Rome and from the season´s second Grand Slam: Roland Garros

ESPN's LIVE coverage of elite men's tennis continues in May with two popular stops on the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, the Mutua Madrid Open in Spain and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia from Rome, the last two clay court events before Roland Garros at the end of the month. Last year's event in Madrid saw Spain's Rafael Nadal thrill the hometown crowd by taking his 27th Masters 1000 title over Japan's Kei Nishikori, who retired in the third set with a back injury.

In Rome it was another familiar pairing as Serbia's Novak Djokovic defeated Nadal for his third title in Rome and 19th Masters 1000 title. Djokovic hasn't disappointed in 2015, opening the season by claiming a fifth Australian Open title, this year over Great Britain's Andy Murray. Meanwhile, Nadal has made Roland Garros his own, last year defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic to win his ninth French Open championship and fifth in a row, both records. It was also his 14th Grand Slam title overall, tying the Spaniard with Pete Sampras for the second most by a man, behind only Swiss star Roger Federer's 17.

ATP World Tour coverage airs LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the season on ESPN and ESPN2.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
May 4 05:00am Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - First Round
May 5 05:00am Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - First Round/Second Round
May 6 05:00am Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - Second Round
May 7 08:00am Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - Round of 16
May 8 09:30am Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - Quarterfinals
May 9 01:00pm Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - Semifinal #2
May 10 01:00pm Masters 1000: Mutua Madrid Open - Final
May 11 05:00am Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - First Round
May 12 05:00am Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - First Round/Second Rd.
May 13 06:00am Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Second Round
May 14 06:00am Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Round of 16
May 15 06:00am Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Quarterfinals
May 15 03:00pm Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Quarterfinals
May 16 02:00pm Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Semifinal #2
May 17 10:00am Masters 1000: Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Final
May 24 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - First Round
May 25 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - First Round
May 26 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - First Round
May 27 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - Second Round
May 28 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - Second Round
May 29 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - Third Round
May 30 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - Third Round
May 31 05:00am Roland Garros - Paris, France - Fourth Round

MOTOR SPORTS - Verizon IndyCar Series, NHRA Drag Racing, AMA Pro Motocross and MotoGP

LIVE on ESPN/ESPN2 in May - more high speed action from the Verizon IndyCar Series headlined by the legendary Indianapolis 500

May promises a stellar month of race action on ESPN/ESPN2 with continuing coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series. It's a busy month, headlined by "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the Indianapolis 500, airing LIVE on ESPN. This year marks the 99th running of an event that is never less than dazzling. Qualifying features three rounds over two days, with the pole winner emerging from a Fast 9 Shootout on the 17th.

Over the years, many names that are synonymous with racing at its highest level have claimed victory at the famed Brickyard: from the winner of the inaugural event in 1911, Ray Harroun, and A.J. Foyt in the 1960s, Al Unser in the 1970s and Emerson Fittipaldi in the 80s and 90s, to more recent champions like Brazil's Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, three-time winner Dario Franchitti (now retired) and defending Indy 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay of the U.S.

ESPN/ESPN2 present season coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series airing LIVE, on short-turnaround and taped. Catch LIVE coverage on ESPN2 this month of both races from the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit airing the 30th and 31st.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
May 9 03:30pm Angie´s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
May 16 07:00pm Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 1 - Indianapolis, IN (S)
May 18 01:00pm Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 2 - Indianapolis, IN (S)
May 24 12:00pm Indianapolis 500 - Indianapolis, IN (S) Short-turnaround

NHRA Drag Racing powers into May with continuing race coverage on ESPN

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues on ESPN in May, giving fans more of the adrenaline-spiked racing action they can't get enough of. The season-opener in Pomona launched the 24-race series at full speed, spotlighting some rivalries that are certain to intensify over the course of the season.

In Top Fuel, it was Shawn Langdon, the 2013 Top Fuel champion, taking the first win over Antron Brown, the 2012 champion. Throw eight-time world champion and 2014 series winner Tony Schumacher into the mix, as well as tough Spencer Massey, and you've got a recipe for some wild action. In Funny Car, defending champion Matt Hagan edged teammate Ron Capps to grab the season's first win - followed by victory two weeks later in Phoenix - to send a clear message to top rival and racing legend John Force that back-to-back titles aren't out of the question.

ESPN's season coverage of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series includes both qualifying (generally on Saturday) and race day action; final eliminations are featured at each stop. Races air on short-turnaround, with action this month airing from Atlanta Dragway in Georgia and Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas.

Schedule:
May 18 08:00pm Summit Racing Equipment NHRA So. Nationals - Atlanta, GA
May 25 04:00pm NHRA Kansas Nationals - Topeka, KS Races air on short-turnaround

More MotoGP on ESPN/ESPN2 with stops in Spain, France and Italy

The world's top Grand Prix motorcycle racing series continues on ESPN/ESPN2 in May with three popular stops on the MotoGP calendar: Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, Le Mans in France and Mugello in Italy. This series of races last year was all about one rider: Spain's Marc Márquez, who claimed victories in the season's first 10 races on his way to winning 13 races on the season and breaking Australian rider Mick Doohan's record of 12 races out of 17 in 1997.

Márquez, with back-to-back championships, returns favored in the new season, but his competitors are back in top form as well. Among the leading challengers are two skilled Spanish talents, two-time past champion Jorge Lorenzo and scrappy Dani Pedrosa. And not to be counted out is another sharp past champion who is never far from the headlines, Italy's Valentino Rossi. Rossi finished last season on fire, making the podium in seven of the season's final eight races, winning twice.

ESPN/ESPN2 present full coverage, airing LIVE, on short-turnaround or taped, of the 18-race MotoGP season. Catch LIVE coverage on ESPN2 May 31 at 6:00am of the Gran Premio d´Italia TIM from the Autodromo de Mugello in Italy.

Schedule: LIVE Coverage
May 3 06:00am Gran Premio bwin de España - Circuito de Jerez, Spain
May 17 06:00am Monster Energy Grand Prix de France - Le Mans,
France Races re-air same day at 8:00pm

AMA Pro Motocross is back in May for a new season of high-flying thrills on ESPN/ESPN2

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the highest level of professional motocross racing, is back on the track in May for another season of great racing action. The 12-round series returns to the same tracks as in 2014, although with a slightly different order. Action this month opens with the Hangtown Motocross Classic (airing LIVE on ESPN2), the Glen Helen National and the Thunder Valley National, followed by stops at traditional venues including RedBud and Unadilla before wrapping in August with the Indiana National.

Riders expected to challenge for this year's 450 Class title include the defending series champion, Germany's Ken Roczen, and a lineup of worthy contenders led by last year's No. 2, Ryan Dungey, a two-time past champion, and other top names including Trey Canard, Brett Metcalfe and James Stewart, the latter the 2008 champion.

ESPN/ESPN2 present season coverage, airing LIVE and on short-turnaround, of the 12-round season running May to August. Coverage this month airs LIVE and on short-turnaround, with LIVE coverage of the Hangtown Motocross Classic airing on ESPN2. One-hour highlight programs air weekly on Fridays.

Schedule:
May 23 06:00pm AMA Pro Motocross - Glen Helen National - San Bernardino, CA (L)
May 30 06:00pm AMA Pro Motocross - Thunder Valley National - Lakewood, CO (S)
(L) Live; (S) Short-turnaround

TRIPLE CROWN HORSE RACING - Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes

Thoroughbred horse racing's biggest event is LIVE on ESPN in May: the first two legs of the Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes

Winning the Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes - is the pinnacle of thoroughbred horse racing, a feat accomplished to date by only 11 horses. This series of races for three-year-olds delivers a grueling schedule of three races in five weeks, with longer distances than most have run in their careers, making it the most difficult task a horse can face. While seven horses won the Triple Crown in the 1930s and 1940s, only three have won it since, the last being Affirmed in 1978.

Last year saw California Chrome run away with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, only to become the 12th horse since Affirmed to have his Triple Crown bid thwarted at the Belmont, where Tonalist won at the wire. While some claim there should be more time between races, last year was a reminder of what a great achievement sweeping the Triple Crown is: winning three classic races, on three ovals, at three distances in five weeks.

Catch LIVE coverage this month of the Kentucky Derby on May 2 at 4:45pm (joined in progress) and the Preakness Stakes on May 16 at 4:30pm. Stay tuned to ESPN in June for coverage of the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

The UEFA Europa League crowns a new champion with coverage of the Semifinals and Final airing LIVE on ESPN

The UEFA Europa League, European football's second highest level of club football behind the UEFA Champions League, crowns a new champion this month with LIVE coverage on ESPN of both legs of the Semifinals and the championship Final. As always, the competition has delivered top-flight action, with the quarterfinal stage boasting sides from Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Belgium and the Ukraine.

Spain's Sevilla, the holders, took on Russia's Zenit in the Quarterfinals, insuring that one of the three previous winners still left in the competition at that point - the third being Italy's Napoli - would be making an exit before this month's closing action. Belgium's Club Brugge arrived at that stage as the only unbeaten team, while the two Italian sides, Fiorentina and Napoli, were hoping to make short work of Ukraine's Dynamo Kyiv and Germany's Wolfsburg, respectively, to move on.

Coverage of the UEFA Europa League airs LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the competition on ESPN.

Schedule:
May 7 02:55pm UEFA Europa League - Semifinal #1, 1st Leg (L)
May 7 05:00pm UEFA Europa League - Semifinal #2, 1st Leg (S)
May 14 02:55pm UEFA Europa League - Semifinal #1, 2nd Leg (L)
May 14 05:00pm UEFA Europa League - Semifinal #2, 2nd Leg (S)
May 27 02:30pm UEFA Europa League - Final (L)
(L) Live; (S) Short-turnaround

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

English football crowns a new champion - the Barclays Premier League Season wraps LIVE on ESPN

The Barclays Premier League, English football's top level of competition, wraps the season this month with LIVE coverage of final games airing on ESPN. Chelsea are always a force in English football, but having last won the league title in 2010 has left them hungry to prove they have what it takes to go all the way. By late in the season they were out front of top challengers Arsenal, Manchester United and holders Manchester City.

While Manchester City has again gotten sharp play from Sergio Agüero and Arsenal has looked good behind the duo of Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez, it has been Chelsea striker Diego Costa keeping his side out front and on track for this year's title. Still, as they say, it ain't over till it's over, so fans would be wise to stay tuned right up to the final whistle.

ESPN's coverage of the English Premier League airs all season, LIVE and on short-turnaround, featuring 1-2 matches per week. Many games re-air in prime. 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
May 2 07:40am Barclays Premier League
May 9 09:55am Barclays Premier League
May 16 09:55am Barclays Premier League
May 24 09:55am Barclays Premier League
*NOTE: English Premier League not available to cruise lines.

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

The best international football continues on ESPN/ESPN2 with weekly coverage from Spain, Germany, Italy and beyond

Weekly coverage of the world's top football leagues, the closing month for most, continues in May on ESPN/ESPN2 with action from the Spanish Primera División - including LIVE coverage on May 30, 3:55pm, of the Copa del Rey Final between Barcelona and Athletic - the Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, Dutch First Division and more.

The Spanish Primera División, otherwise known as La Liga, has been electric this season, with traditional leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid - home to some of the best players in the game, among them Barcelona's Leo Messi and RM's Cristiano Ronaldo - making back-to-back titles for holders Atlético de Madrid look like an unreachable dream. The German Bundesliga has become synonymous in recent years with Bayern Munich and this year doesn't appear to be an exception, as by April they were closing in on a third consecutive league title.

This year's "scudetto" in Italian Serie A, barring some sort of divine intervention from the universe, should solidly land in the hands of Juventus for a fourth consecutive year, while the French Ligue 1 has been considerably more competitive, with Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Marseille all battling atop the table. PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has surprisingly been upstaged by Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette for top scoring honors.

The Dutch First Division in 2015 has seen the league's two most successful teams, Ajax - winners of the last four titles - and PSV, who also won four straight from 2005 to 2008, in head-to-head battle, while the Portuguese Liga has again come down to the league's two top sides, Porto and Benfica, with Benfica going for back-to-back titles.

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.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (MLS)

MLS powers into May with more top matchups airing on ESPN/ESPN2

The 20th season of Major League Soccer (MLS) promises to be a corker. With the addition of Orlando City SC and New York City FC the league is now at 20 teams, with each club playing 34 games during the regular season. The expanded playoff field will feature 12 teams, and the Knockout Rounds will now have four single-elimination matches on the way to the sport's championship event, the MLS Cup, in early December.

With the addition of new teams and new players - among them international stars like English midfield talents Frank Lampard (to NYCFC) and Steven Gerrard (to the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy), who join MLS at the close of the EPL season - the league has successfully moved out of its adolescence and into a new maturity that will be on full display in 2015.

ESPN's coverage of Major League Soccer airs all season, LIVE and on short-turnaround, on ESPN/ESPN2.

Schedule: LIVE coverage - Host team shown first
May 3 05:00pm Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire
May 10 05:00pm Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo
May 13 08:00pm D.C. United vs. Orlando City FC
May 17 05:00pm Orlando City SC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
May 20 08:00pm Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution
May 31 05:00pm Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls

2014 SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE

Word lovers are reveling - the Bee is back. LIVE coverage from the Scripps Spelling Bee airs on ESPN

Some say that the competition is against the dictionary, but don't be fooled. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is nail-biting, stress-inducing, mind-to-mind combat, and all the contestants are there to win. Local spelling bee sponsors from across the United States, Canada, China and points in between send a victor to compete at the Super Bowl of spelling, where the best and the brightest vie for a place in the Championship Finals and a chance to go home a Scripps Spelling Bee champion.

Considered the largest and longest-running educational promotion in the U.S., the Bee dates to 1925 and continues with its mission to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies and develop correct English usage. Last year's event saw two warriors, Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe, plow through some of the toughest words the Bee has to offer - Skandhas. Augenphilologie. Sdrucciola. Holluschick. - and end up as co-champions, the first tie in 52 years.

Coverage of the Championship Finals from the Scripps National Spelling Bee airs LIVE on ESPN May 28, 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

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 is notably spicier with the presence of Olbermann in the lineup, 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, delivers a show that is always 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 savvy, 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 late evening on ESPN.

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