sportdigital scraps US sports channel

Jörn Krieger | 31-07-2013

German pay-TV broadcaster sportdigital has given up its plan to launch a sister channel for fans of US sports, managing director Gisbert Wundram told Rapid TV News.

The reason for this is the move by competitor Sport1 to secure many transmission rights for US sports which used to be held by subscription channel ESPN America, which is to leave continental Europe on 31 July 2013.
Originally, Hamburg-based sportdigital wanted to fill this gap with sportamerica HD, but Sport1 succeeded in the rights negotiations. In June, sportdigital received a broadcast licence for its planned US sports channel from the media authorities.
"We won't launch as the colleagues from Munich have the edge in this case and will launch a US sports channel on Sky and on cable networks on 1 August," said Wundram. "In our view, there's not enough space in the pay-TV market for two US sports channels. We will therefore withdraw."