Does ESPN Have What It Takes To Win UK Premier League TV Rights?
In the next 24 hours, we’ll find out if the future of Premier League TV coverage will change forever. Sky Sports has already won the bids for the first four of six packages made available by the Premier League for TV coverage from 2010-2013 for an estimated £1.3 billion. By Thursday night, we’ll learn whether ESPN or Setanta Sports will capture the two remaining packages, or will win the bid for one of them if Sky Sports is able to extend its packages from four to five out of the six.
The decision will have a massive impact on Setanta Sports. Will the Irish broadcaster remain a force to be reckoned with in UK television, or will ESPN manage to squeeze in and land the remaining packages, which would send shockwaves around the world.
On Thursday, journalist Jamie Trecker wrote that the win for Sky Sports was a potential win for Fox Soccer Channel in the TV rights battle in the United States. I have to disagree wholeheartedly. The agreement in the UK has little to no influence on the bidding in the United States. The TV rights for the US will be decided after the UK bidding concludes. If ESPN wants to win the TV rights deal for coverage in the US, it has just as much of a chance of winning it as does Fox Soccer Channel or Setanta Sports USA.
What do you guys think? Who will win the bids to the final two TV packages in the UK? Click the comments link below and let us know.