ESPN confirms Sky channel launch plans

By Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporter

ESPN has confirmed plans to launch a revamped and rebranded channel on Sky to show its English Premier League (EPL) games for the coming season.

Entitled ESPN, the new channel will launch on August 3 in both standard definition and high definition at 417 and 443 respectively on Sky's EPG.
Premium US sports coverage previously shown on ESPN America will be integrated into the new channel, while ESPN Classic will remain available in Sky's News and Events pack.

Under the already announced carriage agreement, Sky will offer ESPN to its commercial and residential customers, with the latter accessing it on a premium subscription basis.

Sky Sports subscribers will be able to receive ESPN for £9 per month, while other Sky customers will have to pay a monthly fee of £12.
The HD service will also be free to any Sky HD customers who subscribe to ESPN.
Sky's commercial subscribers will be able to access all ESPN channels for free as part of the Ultimate channel pack.
The Disney-owned firm has said that it will utilise Sky's in-house production teams to cover the EPL games, although it will also use its own studio shows, graphics and analysis.

Lynne Frank, ESPN EMEA managing director, said: "We hope football and sports fans will enjoy ESPNís compelling mix of Barclays Premier League football, international sports and the best of the US sports in both SD and HD.