ESPN to launch live UK sports channel

24 Jun 09 -

Disney-owned international sports broadcaster ESPN is set to launch a live sports channel in the UK after it won the rights to the English Premier League soccer games lost by bankrupt broadcaster Setanta.

The company is set to launch a standalone channel that will sit alongside its current channels ESPN Classic and ESPN America. It will wholesale the channels through pay TV platforms including DTH operator BSkyB, cable operator Virgin Media and IPTV service BT Vision.

ESPN acquired the rights to air 46 games next season reportedly paying £90m (€105m), while it will also air 23 games per season for three seasons starting in 2010. It is believed that the company matched Setanta’s £159m deal for these rights.