ESPN America cements distribution

By Julian Clover

ESPN America has moved to ensure the premium sports channel can continue to be received in the wake of the Setanta collapse earlier this week. The channel has switched to the News & Events pack within Sky basic and has added distribution on the terrestrial platform Top Up TV and BT Vision.

“We have come to this interim solution to make sure that US sports fans and existing subscribers to ESPN America can continue to enjoy watching the channel whilst we make permanent arrangements,” an ESPN spokesman told Broadband TV News.

Like Racing UK, which has confirmed it is reverting to a standalone channel, ESPN America was partially distributed as part of a Setanta bundle.

Further announcements on the future positioning of ESPN in the UK market are expected later in the week. It follows ESPN’s purchase of the 46 live matches previously held by Setanta Sports for the 2009/10 season, along with 23 matches a season between 2010 and May 2013.