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.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.
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.
ESPN 'eyes Premier League rights' (BBC)