ESPN SECURES RIGHTS DEAL FOR THE UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
The new ESPN channel to air UEFA Europa League from September 2009 until 2012
ESPN today announced it has secured the rights to broadcast the UEFA Europa League for the next three seasons.
Formerly known as the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Europa League will feature some of the biggest clubs from across Europe as they compete to reach the Finals in May each year, starting with Hamburg, Germany in 2010. Alongside current UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk, the UEFA Europa League Group stages will see British sides Celtic, Everton and Fulham competing with likes of Roma, Lazio, Valencia, Werder Bremen, Hamburg, Ajax, PSV, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.
The group stage includes 48 clubs, 10 of which were eliminated in the playoff round of UEFA Champions League qualifiers. The ties will begin on 17th September and will be broadcast on Wednesday and Thursday nights throughout the season. As part of the deal, ESPN will serve as host broadcaster for any live home matches featuring British clubs that it selects for broadcast.
After confirming the deal, Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “We’re delighted to be able to broadcast the UEFA Europa League from this season and are looking forward to having some of the best clubs in Europe competing against each other on ESPN. This year we look forward to following Everton, Fulham and Celtic. This deal shows that we continue to build a fantastic offering of local and international sport for fans around the UK.”
A UEFA spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have signed this deal with ESPN in respect of the UEFA Europa League rights in the United Kingdom. ESPN’s new sports channel complements the launch of this exciting competition and will provide UK football fans with additional top quality live football.”
In addition to the UEFA Europa League, ESPN’s live football content this season brings sports fans the best football action from around Europe, including 46 Barclays Premier League, 30 Clydesdale Bank Premier League and up to 80 Italian Serie A live matches. The channel also airs live German Bundesliga, Dutch Eredivisie, Portuguese Liga, Russian Premier League and MLS as well as international sports and a wide-range of premium U.S. sports.
ESPN is available on Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, Top Up TV, Tiscali and UPC (in Ireland) on the following channel numbers:
Sky: ESPN (channel 417), ESPN HD (channel 442)
Virgin Media: ESPN (channel 529), ESPN HD (channel 530)
BT Vision: ESPN (channel 34)
Top UP TV: ESPN (channel 34)
Tiscali: ESPN (channel 555)
UPC (in Ireland) ESPN (channel 407)
For subscription information, please visit: http://www.espn.co.uk/ or call 0844 257 7442