ESPN gains soccer foothold in England

It's time to say goodbye to ESPN America in Britain and say hello to ESPN. In the wake of its acquisition of rights to broadcast 46 Premier League matches in the 2009-10 season, ESPN will launch the new network on Aug. 3.

The channel, which will air in both standard definition (SD) and high-definition (HD), will be available on a premium subscription basis to all BSkyB homes (9.3 million subscribers).

ESPN won the broadcast rights to the package previously purchased by troubled broadcaster Setanta, which owed $16.5 million to the EPL.

BSkyB owns the British TV rights to the rest of the Premier League matches (115 each year).

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