Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 13:18 UK

ESPN expands live sports coverage

The final of the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships
ESPN will broadcast FIBA's European Basketball Championships

ESPN has expanded the range of sports it will broadcast in the UK and Irish Republic after securing a number of new TV rights contracts.

ESPN will broadcast martial arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Australian Football League and the Top 14 French rugby championships.

These live events will be shown on the new ESPN channel to launch on 3 August.

The latest deals follow ESPN's acquisition of rights to the English and Scottish Premier Leagues.

ESPN's new channel will be available on Sky as well as Virgin.

ESPN says Ultimate Fighting Championships is the fastest growing sports organisation in the world, with competitions using a mixture of martial arts.

France's rugby championship - called Top 14 Orange - will be aired weekly from 15 August and the Australian Football League match will be aired from 7 August.

The German Touring Car series will be aired from 16 August while the European Basketball Championships will air from 7 September, when it takes place in Poland.



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