ESPN has finally made its stand by taking over the rights to show 46 games of the next season English Premier League. This will be the first time for ESPN to broadcast live premier league football in UK. ESPN took over from Setanta which was unable to pay the bill for the rights.
This gives ESPN an opportunity to telecast the game shows. It has now won the 23 games per season which was due to show from 2010-2013 by Setanta. The two Packages namely Saturday teatimes and Monday evenings will be eventually sold to customers through Sky.
The amount for rights purchase by ESPN is still unclear. Meanwhile, the Scottish Premier League (SPL) has taken back its UK rights for 2009/10 “and beyond” from Setanta after the Irish broadcaster missed a £3m payment. The SPL said it was now “actively engaging in the process of selling our domestic broadcasting rights”.
ESPN said in a statement it had “reached an agreement for its coverage to be retailed by Sky to residential and commercial customers”, who will pay extra to view the games. It also has plans of making the medium of league available with other platforms and the talks with Virgin Media confirmed it.
“This move demonstrates our commitment to British sports fans and our ongoing commitment to delivering football to fans around the world across a variety of media,” said Russell Wolff, managing director of ESPN International.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said that ESPN had a “formidable worldwide reputation and experience in sports”.
“I am sure we will enjoy a long and fruitful relationship with them,” he added