ESPN, which broadcast Chelsea versus Hull City early Saturday morning as the first game under its new contract with the English Premier League, announced it had reached a deal to be offered by Tiscali TV in the United Kingdom and Chorus ntl in Ireland.
Tiscali, which provides broadband, dialup, telephone and TV services in the UK, will offer ESPN and ESPN America to its viewers for an additional monthly fee. Chorus ntl will offer ESPN, ESPN America and ESPN Classic.
Those who sign up for ESPN will be able to watch the English Premier League and Scottish Premier League games acquired by ESPN in late June.
ESPN now has exclusive rights to 46 English Premier League matches for the 2009-10 season, and to 23 matches each season from 2010 to 2013.
In addition, it will show 30 Scottish Premier League games for the next five seasons, showing 30 live games each season, plus matches from the German, Dutch, Russian and Portuguese national leagues. Ultimate Fighting Championship, French rugby and Australian football events also will be televised.
"We're delighted to have ESPN and ESPN America on board, and the channels are an excellent boost to our vast range of movies and popular TV series already available to customers," said Hugh Williams, Tiscali UK's director of programming and content. "We have a great offer and with the [English] Premier League starting, the deal comes just in time to make sure that our customers don't miss a single goal, save or dive this season."
ESPN America will provide coverage of the traditional United States sports, including Major League Baseball, the NHL and NCAA football and basketball.
"We are delighted to team with Tiscali to offer their customers ESPN's exciting range of [English] Premier League football, [Scottish] Premier League and the best in international sports on ESPN," said Lynne Frank, managing director for ESPN in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "We're also pleased that ESPN America, which brings sports fans great live sporting action from North America, will be available to Tiscali customers for the first time."
In reference to the deal with Chorus ntl, Frank said: "ESPN is set to be must-have for fans in Ireland."
Simon Kelehan, head of TV for Chorus ntl, said: "We are delighted to offer ESPN to our Irish customer base, and ESPN HD is a core element of our new HD service. Irish viewers have always had a keen interest in English premiership football and we're delighted that ESPN brings a range of new Live sports to Irish viewers."