Tuesday, July 7, 2009

UF Quick Throw: ESPN's Move Into England Underway

The Worldwide leader in sports is coming England! Are you ready?
Since acquiring the rights to Setanta's 46 game EPL package for the coming season, details of how ESPN will use the package has been unclear. Until now! The ESPN UK channel launches on August the 3rd. But where it will be seen is still unclear. The sports giant is currently in discussions with SKY Television and UK cable providers to ensure their channel is available to as many homes as possible. The new channel will be a premium channel, yet it is unclear exactly how much access to the 46 games will cost viewers.


Unoriginal_Name said...

If I may fill in a few of the details:

ESPN will be available on Sky on channel 417 with an HD service on channel 443. At present, sky is the only confirmed carrier, but negotiations are ongoing. The channel will cost 9 pounds a month to those who subscribe to Sky Sports and 12 pounds a month to other Sky customers.

Basically, the channel is taking ESPN America over. The new channel will show the Premier League, whatever other rights they pick up, and then American sports they hold rights to.

Sky's in-house production team has been selected to produce this year's slate of PL matches for ESPN with the network adding its own graphics and analysts.

The launch date is set for August 3rd.



Unoriginal_Name said...

I should have also mentioned that right now, ESPN America is available as a premium channel on Virgin Media at 10 pounds a month. While a few details might change with the switchover, I'll bet it'll be there as well by launch day.

The Fan's Attic said...

Unoriginal_name is a font of original information. Thanks.

So, ESPN is using Sky's production team? Does that mean the same announcers?

Unoriginal_Name said...

As I understand it, not necessarily. Sky's job will be to handle the on-screen, in-game picture. ESPN will put together its own pre/half/post match shows (though ESPN has put out contract bidding for an outside production company to handle that too). ESPN will also be responsible for lining up on-air talent, which could include contracting out Sky guys or getting their own talent.

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idUSL733770320090707 (makes a mention of the Sky/ESPN production split in paragraph 5).