Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 17:32 UK

ESPN to launch UK sports channel

Alvaro Arbeloa of Liverpool (right) and Nadir Belhadj of Portsmouth
ESPN bought the live football rights that were lost by Setanta

The US broadcaster ESPN has announced plans to launch a new UK sports channel, called ESPN, on 3 August.

The channel will show 46 live Barclays Premier League football games, which were to have been shown by Setanta until its recent financial problems.

The channel will also show some of the US sports to which ESPN owns rights.

ESPN has reached an initial deal to have the channel shown on Sky, but it is in talks with all UK pay-TV platforms about carrying the service.

Sky will also be responsible for selling advertising on the new channel.

Premiums

ESPN owns the rights to broadcast 46 live Premier League games in the 2009/10 season and 23 matches for each of the following three seasons.

Sky's residential customers will have to pay a premium of £9 a month for the new channel if they already pay for Sky Sports or £12 a month if they do not.

For commercial customers it will be part of the "ultimate" channel package.

Previously, the Setanta Sports package was available to Sky customers for between £9.99 a month and £14.99 a month plus a £14.99 initial connection charge.

The Premier League matches on ESPN will be produced by Sky Sports, although it will feature ESPN branding.

ESPN also owns rights to show American football, ice hockey, baseball and college football and basketball throughout Europe, which it used to show in the UK on its ESPN America channel.

ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company.



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SEE ALSO
SPL takes time over TV contract
07 Jul 09 |  Scottish Premier
Sky may have to share TV channels
26 Jun 09 |  Business
Setanta goes into administration
23 Jun 09 |  Business
FA faces Setanta cash shortfall
23 Jun 09 |  Football
ESPN buys rights to Setanta games
22 Jun 09 |  Business
Q&A: Setanta, me and my sport
23 Jun 09 |  Business

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