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ESPN bringing football action to Virgin Media, BT Vision and Sky

Friday, August 7th 2009 by Cable.co.uk

Football fans now have a new channel on which to watch the beautiful game.

Football fans will be counting down the days until the Barclay's Premier League kicks off on Saturday 15th of August.

Anyone wanting to watch matches from the comfort of their own home can tune into the Premier League's newest broadcast partner ESPN which has launched its first live UK sports channels ESPN and ESPN HD.

The channel will broadcast 46 Live Premier League matches over the season, kicking off with Everton v Arsenal on the first day of the season, followed by West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday August 23rd.

Former Tranmere Rovers footballer Ray Stubbs will be presenting ESPN's football coverage, along with Rebecca Lowe, Mark Chapman, Kelly Cates and Darrell Currie, while Jon Champion and Derek Raw will be on commentary duty.

And it's not just Premier League action viewers will have access to, there will also be 30 matches from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League in Scotland to enjoy.

So who will be watching this new channel?

ESPN has signed deals with Virgin Media, Sky and most recently BT Vision and all three will be offering the channel.

Virgin Media is offering the channel to customers with its XL package free of charge, while those with smaller deals will have to pay an additional fee.

However, as an extra treat for its 3.5 million customers, the digital TV provider is giving ESPN to all subscribers to its TV service free of charge during August.

If after this taster you can't bear to be without a regular football fix, subscribers can add the channel to their package for between £8 and £10 a month.

Mark Schweitzer, chief commercial officer of Virgin Media, said, "This agreement solidifies Virgin Media's place as the home of TV entertainment and is unquestionably the best value TV deal for sports fanatics. We've got all the sports content you'd expect and adding the new ESPN channels to our line-up will mean our customers can watch all the football action they want."

"We're always looking for ways to go the extra mile for our customers and we think this market beating offer does this in spades as well as providing a sweetener for the start of the football season."

In addition to Virgin Media, ESPN has also signed deals with Sky and most-recently BT Vision.

Sky subscribers who already get their Premier viewing with Sky Sports can make sure they never miss a match by adding ESPN for an extra £9 a month.

BT Vision signed its own contract with ESPN earlier this week and is offerings its subscribers the chance to access ESPN at no additional cost if they have a Bronze, Silver or Gold package.

Marc Watson, chief executive of television and online services, BT Retail, said: "We want BT Vision to offer the best value and all-round entertainment - which naturally includes the very best of sport. So the new deal with ESPN is great news for customers."

Is there more to ESPN than football?

But if football is not your thing then never fear, there is more to ESPN than that. The channel will also offer Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, the German Touring Car Championship Series, the European Basketball Championship and a host of sports from across the Atlantic including Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball.

However, if you are not sports fan at all, it may be time to start investigating some multi-room options!

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