Sign up for the free World Soccer Talk daily email newsletter for TV schedules, news and more »

SAT, 7:45AM ET
MCFC
CPFC
SAT, 9:30AM ET
WER
BVB
SAT, 10AM ET
AVFC
MUFC
SAT, 10AM ET
BAR
COR
SAT, 10AM ET
TOT
BUR
SAT, 10AM ET
SOU
EVE

ESPN Interested in Bidding for Setanta Sports

espn soccer ESPN Interested in Bidding for Setanta Sports

According to the Irish newspaper The Sunday Business Post, ESPN has been linked with a possible bid for Setanta Sports. The reporter also mentions that BT and Virgin may also be interested.

If the interest by ESPN is true, it makes perfect sense for the American network that’s owned by Disney. Purchasing Setanta would be an instant ticket to an impressive platform of soccer programming including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Scottish Premier League, Championship, FA Cup, Lique Un and much more.

More importantly for soccer fans in America, having ESPN associated with the soccer network should increase the likelihood that the channel would be more readily available on cable networks nationwide. ESPN’s interest in soccer has increased considerably after a very successful 2006 World Cup campaign with impressive TV ratings, and more coverage of Champions League matches than in previous years.

If ESPN wants to get more into soccer, it’s easier for them to buy a network that already has a strong footprint in the sport than to try waiting years to bid for new TV rights deal when they become available.

During the past year, Setanta Sports has achieved some incredible coups by breaking up Sky’s monopoly of the Premiership coverage, which will begin this August with both Setanta and Sky in the UK covering Premier League games. Setanta also recently acquired the rights, alongside ITV, to the England internationals and FA Cup games in the UK beginning next year.

In December 2006, ESPN announced it was acquiring NASN from Setanta. NASN (North American Sports Network) was a European network covering American sports.


This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →