Can I get ESPN on Virgin Media?
The good news is that you can! Sports fans will probably be aware that after subscription sports channel Setanta went bust and made a hasty exit from the TV market, ESPN stepped in to pick up the pieces and bought the rights to those Premier League games that Sky Sports didn't get.
It's also common knowledge that Sky offers ESPN to its subscribers, but only if they're willing to pay extra each month on top of the standard bill for their subscription TV service.
If you live in a cabled area and you're thinking of becoming (or already are) a Virgin Media customer, then you may be worried about missing out on some of the Premier League games unless you've some way of getting access to ESPN.
Thankfully Virgin Media has teamed up with ESPN to give its customers access to tons of live sport via its subscription-based cable TV service, so every second of live action in a range of sports is available to the hardcore supporter.
How does this fit in with the Virgin packages?
ESPN can be added to any of the three main Virgin Media TV packages. Customers who've gone for either the size M or L deal will only be able to add in ESPN if they pay a little more on top of their basic monthly bill for the package. Anyone who chooses the XL package will get ESPN included without having to pay a penny extra.
The price you pay for ESPN on the M or L deal will depend on whether you're also going to subscribe to one of the Sky Sports packages and you'll probably be considering this if you want to watch your team every week. It sometimes helps to get better overall value by paying a little extra each month for one of the bigger packs.
How do I add it?
You can add ESPN to your Virgin Media TV bundle when you're signing up for it online just by adding it to your basket along with the pack of your choice. If you're an existing customer you can call Virgin Media and add ESPN to your pack, or visit the Virgin Media website for more details.
Make sure you read up on all of the terms and conditions before you commit, or talk to a customer service advisor, because adding ESPN to your existing package might change the length of your minimum contract.
Virgin Media will be happy to answer any questions and it doesn't mess about with too much small print, so you should have a clear idea as to what adding ESPN will mean just by checking the site.
What are the ESPN channels?
As part of the ESPN pack that comes with the subscription on Virgin Media, you can access three different channels. The standard ESPN channel gives you access to live games from the English Premier League, as well as the Scottish Premier League and basketball matches broadcast from across the pond featuring the best teams from the NBA in America.
You also get ESPN America, which is a melting pot of sports from the USA which are loved by fans the world over. The final channel in the ESPN pack is ESPN HD. This lets you watch all of the content shown on the standard ESPN channel in stunning high definition.
What else does ESPN cover?
When it's not pumping out top flight football, fans of motor racing will want to tune into the coverage of Formula 3 that ESPN provides. This is basically a proving ground where the stars of tomorrow cut their teeth.
You can watch Ultimate Fighting Championship title matches live from the US on ESPN, although as with most live US games that ESPN covers, you'll need to stay up into the wee small hours to be able to watch it - or of course you could record it if you have the V+HD box.
Slightly less mainstream sports including Aussie Rules football and Major League Baseball are also broadcast live on ESPN and even if you don't think that you'll be interested in these at the moment, you might find that once you've signed up you suddenly find a passion for a sport you'd never even heard of before.
ESPN has its own program to provide sporting news and opinions, including Sports Centre and Press Pass 2010. Here you can catch up on the gossip and goings on from different sports and also find out the latest scores as they happen.
ESPN has shows giving highlights and coverage of other major events, such as the ICC Cricket tournaments, so even if the events aren't available live on ESPN, you'll be able to get the highlights with expert commentators once the final whistle has been blown.
More on ESPN, Virgin and HD
When you sign up to Virgin Media you won't have to pay extra on your monthly bill if you want to get the HD channels in your home, which is something to keep in mind if you're thinking about getting the EPSN channels added.
When you sign up for the ESPN pack you'll automatically get the HD channel and as long as you have a television capable of displaying an HD picture then you can choose to view, pause, record and rewind TV in high definition.
The only catch is that you've got to get the V+HD set top box in order to unlock the ESPN HD channel, but it makes sense to future-proof your viewing experience if you're signing up for a new contract.
The reason that the lack of extra charges for HD is important is because Virgin Media's rival, Sky, charges its customers each month if they want to get the HD channels, even if they're already paying for the live sports from ESPN or Sky Sports.
This really makes the Virgin/ESPN combination a bit of a no-brainer!
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