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ESPN to launch UK channel on August 3

Sports broadcaster ESPN will launch its new UK channel, simply called ESPN, on August 3. The channel will broadcast coverage of 46 English Premier League matches in the forthcoming season, following its recent acquisition of the two packages previously broadcast by Setanta Sports.

ESPN will broadcast a range of international and US sports that are already broadcast on ESPN America as well as Premier League matches. Pay-TV provider BSkyB will retail ESPN to residential customers on a premium subscription basis for £9 (€10) a month to Sky Sports customers and £12 to others, and will also market the service to commercial customers, following a deal between the pair. ESPN HD will be made available at no extra cost to ESPN subscribers with Sky’s HD pack. Archive channel ESPN Classic will remain part of Sky’s News and Events pack.

ESPN has contracted its Premier League coverage to Sky Sports’ in-house production unit, and Sky’s ad sales house will sell inventory for both ESPN channels.