ESPN Announces Details Surrounding New UK Channel

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Yesterday, I mentioned that ESPN was going to have a rough go of it with the fans of EPL in England, and today the network announced official plans to launch their new UK channel....

ESPN plan to launch a new channel in the UK on 3rd August called ‘ESPN,’ which will televise 46 Barclays Premier League matches this coming season, it was announced today by Lynne Frank, Managing Director, ESPN for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Frank also announced the channel will be made available in both standard definition (SD) and high-definition (HD), making the UK based premium sports channel the company’s first HD channel in Europe.

The new channel will offer live Barclays Premier League football, international sports and a wide-range of premium U.S. sports previously provided on ESPN America, which will be integrated in the UK into the new channel.

As part of the new arrangement, Sky will retail ESPN to both its residential and commercial customers. Sky will make ESPN available on a premium subscription basis to all Sky homes. This means that all live Barclays Premier League matches will be available in HD to Sky homes. ESPN will appear in the Sky Guide at channel number 417 in SD and channel 443 in HD.
For those of you across the pond, turn to channel 417/443 for all of your ESPN Soccer action. They probably could have come up with a better name for it than "ESPN", but there you have it.

Posted by Awful Announcing at 11:33 AM


Unfortunately, this announcement has come at the expense of ESPN America, a channel dedicated to North American sports. We go from 32 hours a day of American sports across 2 channels to playing second fiddle to Premier League football. Bye bye College Gameday + triple headers on a Sunday night.
Very bad move by ESPN. We ESPN America subscribers are very annoyed. Soccer does not rule everything....

Delenn said...
Jul 7, 2009, 1:53:00 PM  

or even on a Saturday night!!!

Delenn said...
Jul 7, 2009, 1:54:00 PM  

I can't see why they wouldn't call it ESPN. It's a brand name, and there are probably quite a few people in the UK who already know about it.

Anonymous said...
Jul 7, 2009, 11:54:00 PM  

So does 'stunning high definition' automatically make a nil-nil soccer game more bearable?

Chris said...
Jul 8, 2009, 2:04:00 PM  

Wait. Will I be able to see Premier league games in America on ESPN or ESPN2?

And to Delenn, why don't you learn a bit about the sport before you bash it, or just understand basic time zones. There will be no Sunday night games. Gameday will be preserved bc the games will likely be shown on ESPN2.

JoshuaR said...
Jul 8, 2009, 11:22:00 PM  

In response to Josh...

1)Even with the time-zone difference, I would expect fewer live sports events from the U.S. on the new ESPN UK channel. The network has spent a lot on the EPL rights, so expect magazine shows, talk shows, and so on in return. This is the pattern that has been established in the U.S. Also, look for a lot of poker, X Games, and other ESPN favorites.
2)No. Right now, Fox Sports Channel (and Setanta, if it still exists) are the rights-holders for the EPL in this country. I don't know how long the contracts last, and I doubt it has ever been reported.

BWBarefoot said...
Jul 17, 2009, 12:53:00 PM  

Good news for all of US sports followers...
ESPN America (UK) is saved.. all subscribers to ESPN UK (aka ESPN soccer :-) will receive ESPN America, too..

Praise the lord :-)

Unknown said...
Aug 1, 2009, 3:19:00 AM  

Josh, what in hell are you on about?

Delenn corrected the Sunday mistake to Saturdat just one minute after posting his first post?

Also, what in hell has ESPN2 got to do with anything regarding Gameday?

These are brand new channels for the UK, not just the US versions duplicated.

Maybe you should take your own advice and get a clue what you are talking about.

PavlovsDog said...
Aug 5, 2009, 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous said...
Sep 26, 2009, 6:39:00 AM  

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