ESPN Gets The Premier League – Confusion Reigns

After a weekend of bidding, and to absolutely no-one’s surprise, the television packages for Premier League football which had been by Setanta have been purchased by the American-owned sports company ESPN. The Premier League had been in something of a hurry to get Setanta out of the way, to the extent that it is rumoured to have recently been lobbying the EU competition commission to get rid of the rules that they put in place specifically to deal with the sort of stranglehold that Sky has over British sport. Viewers will have to play a game of wait and see over how they will be able to view these matches (46 for the 2009/10 season and 23 matches per season thereafter) – the new channel will go onto Sky, but may also be available on BT Vision, Virgin Media and Freeview (through an encryption card). What happens to many of the rest of the packages that Setanta currently hold remains up in the air. The SPL seems to have already struck a deal with Sky worth around three-quarters of the amount that Setanta had been paying. ITV are said to have an option to buy up England’s home friendly matches at £2m per match if the company goes into administration, but nothing has yet been said about the FA Cup and the Blue Square Premier. For the time being,...

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