Saturday, August 1, 2009


ESPN also won the rights to air Premier League matches in Ireland, and combined with Sky to secure the rights to 30 Scottish Premier League games a season.

ESPN is selling subscriptions through Sky for $15 to $20, depending on the deal.

Sky Sports, controlled by News Corp., retains the bulk of Premier League rights in Britain through 2012-13, including 92 games in the coming season and 115 a season over the next three. Sky's latest three-year deal is reportedly worth more than $1.6 billion.

ESPN, which had made previous Premier League bids, did not disclose how much it paid for the rights it obtained, though British news reports estimated the fee at $147 million for the first season and $260 million for the following three.

More than $8.2 billion has been poured into the topflight game by TV companies since the formation of the Premier League in 1992, income that has helped attract some of the world's highest-profile stars to England.

The Premier League, which collectively sells the TV rights and shares the revenue among the 20 clubs, was impressed with ESPN's track record.

"They have a formidable worldwide reputation and experience in sports,'' Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said.

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