Look Out Soccer Fans, ESPN Looking To Acquire Premier League TV Rights

Monday, December 10, 2007


I'm the last person to go to when big Soccer news hits, but it appears that this item is a very good possibility. ESPN is looking to buy the rights to air England's Premier League away from BSkyB and Setanta when their deals run out in 2009-2010.

US sports cable network ESPN is "absolutely interested" in buying the UK rights to broadcast Premier League football, its president has said. The comments by George Bodenheimer to the Financial Times signal efforts by the network to boost its European audience, analysts say.

Mr Bodenheimer described the league as "fabulous property" for a broadcaster to have. "We're going to work on getting as local as we can. We want to deliver product that is relevant in each country," he told the FT.

"It's a country-by-country approach. We want to be investors wherever the top sports product is." ESPN currently reaches about 10 million homes in Europe, but winning rights to the Premier League would encourage a much bigger take up, observers say.
Can someone say monopoly? I'm not kidding when I say this....I truly believe within the next 5-10 years ESPN will have a live sport aired during every hour of the day on one or more networks. They've already delved into cricket and rugby and a global approach to Soccer seems like the next logical step. A Premiership acquisition would be a massive move for the network.

ESPN 'eyes Premier League rights' (BBC)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 11:22 AM

21 Comments:

no way does this happen. sky/setanta will outbid them jfk golfclub style if need be. setanta has deals with teams to have their own dedicated channels, espn could not even dream of offering that. i doubt the FA would want this to happen either

also, its not the english premier league, its the barclay's premier league

Mike Georger said...
Dec 10, 2007, 11:58:00 AM  

furthermore, unless they created a new network entirely for this it would interfere with college football. saturday games run from 8-3 EST, and sunday games would interfere with pointless nfl pregame shit

Mike Georger said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:04:00 PM  

I am pretty sure the UK would get a different version of ESPN from America.

Anonymous said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:11:00 PM  

well i would assume they already do, i was talking about for US viewers.

Mike Georger said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:17:00 PM  

It's like a Reeses peanut butter cup! Two great tastes that go great together!

Except they both taste like crap.

Anonymous said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:22:00 PM  

The headline makes it sound like ESPN wants to buy the entire league.

Anonymous said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:44:00 PM  

ESPN will do this, and still, no one will care.

Chris said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:52:00 PM  

because its not the highest rated sport on television worldwide
wait no, it is

Mike Georger said...
Dec 10, 2007, 12:53:00 PM  

Anon you're right...sorry about that and fixed. And doesn't Barclays just own the naming rights? Isn't it still the EPL???

I admit I don't know much about this.

Dec 10, 2007, 1:02:00 PM  

They already have a network in place in Deportes that they can put most of their broadcasts of games on. Undoubtly they would change Deportes to make it an complete international channel in order to do so. They must know the MLS, while it is fun to watch, doesn't get good ratings, so they couldn't expect any soccer to take off here and put too many games on in place of other events.

Stewert said...
Dec 10, 2007, 1:03:00 PM  

no they officially changed the name this year to the barclay's premier league. retarded beyond belief, but i know you work on technicalities often

premierleague.com has it as 'barclays premier league' brought to you by barclays

overkill much

Mike Georger said...
Dec 10, 2007, 1:05:00 PM  

We are actually getting closer to ESPN 8: The Ocho.

GMoney said...
Dec 10, 2007, 4:17:00 PM  

I would think it would be on the sports channel ESPN (Disney) owns in the UK, not necessarily on ESPN.

Anonymous said...
Dec 10, 2007, 4:51:00 PM  

I think it would be a great move for soccer here in the U.S and maybe we could get excited more than once every 4 years

mike said...
Dec 10, 2007, 7:23:00 PM  

Do you folks not have FSC? They have good coverage every weekend of the Premiership.

LeftWingCracker said...
Dec 10, 2007, 7:29:00 PM  

The English Premier league negotiates TV rights for each country individualy. Right now the UK rights are shared with Sky and Setanta, and the US rights are sharred with Fox and Setanta. Sky and Fox are apart of News Corp owned by Rupert Murdoch.

I can't speak for Setanta, but I do know that Murdoch and his gang at Fox/Sky will do whatever it takes to keep the EPL. You have to keep in mind also that the UK doesn't have cable as we know it here in the US. Their TV programing is provided by satelite and the government. Should Sky lose the EPL, they could very easily remove all their ESPN programming for their systems. If you thought the NFL and Big Ten network fights were a royal pain, then that will become 10-fold should this happen.

I would look for ESPN to get a piece of the action in US telecasts of the EPL. Currently, FSC carries 4-5 games per weekend, and Setanta carries 2-3. With 10 games max per weekend, ESPN cound get the balance the leftovers.

This should be interesting to watch come 2010.

Brian said...
Dec 10, 2007, 9:53:00 PM  

Anything, just as long as it knocks dominos and XBOX competitions off ESPN.

AldoP said...
Dec 11, 2007, 9:22:00 AM  

European anti-competitive regulations make it illegal for one broadcaster to own exclusive rights to Premier League football, which is the very reason why BSkyB had to share the rights with Setanta Sports as of this season.

As mentioned as well, Premier League football is the very basis of BSkyB's business model. A huge proportion of Sky subscribers have been attracted solely for live football, ever since their inception in 1992 and I think it's safe to say that Sky (and to a lesser extent Setanta) will not be giving up their single biggest sales tool to ESPN.

Michael said...
Dec 11, 2007, 11:20:00 AM  

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Sports Spread Betting from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!

JJ said...
Dec 18, 2007, 7:07:00 AM  

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I like to Bet on Football from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! Football Betting would be so much better if you saw a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season and beating last season winners in a close fought battle for the title!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!

JD said...
Jan 22, 2008, 5:58:00 AM  

Wow! Arsenal got killed last night! Anybody see it?
The fans must have been furious! 5 – 1, I mean Tottenham played very well but Arsenal fielded barely any first team players, what were they thinking!? The Fans have every right to be annoyed! When you travel to see your team play you expect them to at least try! Whoever did a little football spread betting on Arsenal losing will be laughing all the way to work this morning! Maybe I Should start spread betting and see if I can win a few bets! I want to laugh on the way to work!
Mwahahahhahaha!

col said...
Jan 23, 2008, 4:51:00 AM  

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