ESPN buys more rights for new UK channel

ESPN has acquired a raft of soccer rights for its soon-to-launch live sports channel in the UK and secured carriage on the Virgin Media cable system.

The Disney-backed sports channel operator is launching next month, having picked up the UK Premier League rights that became available after Setanta struggled to meet the payments for them.  It has now bought rights to games from the German, Portuguese, Russian and Dutch leagues.

ESPN also said it will be carried in standard and high definition on Virgin Media’s platform. It will be carried in the cabler’s XL TV pack alongside ESPN’s archive footage channel ESPN Classic or available on standalone basis for £8 (€9.27) or £10 depending on what package the customer is already taking.