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Financial Times: ESPN eyes UK rights to Premier League

Athens, GA (Dec 10, 2007) - ESPN is looking to expand its international presence. The Financial Times is reporting that the network is interested in acquiring UK rights to the English Premier League when they are next auctioned in 2009.

A bid for the rights to English football’s top league could pit the Walt Disney-owned sports network against British Sky Broadcasting, which last year agreed a three-year deal worth £1.3bn ($2.6bn) for the largest package of live games available.

George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN, which broadcasts the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball in the US, told the Financial Times that the Premier League was a “fabulous property . . . we are absolutely interested in it”.

At the same time, the Financial Times says that ESPN is rebranding the North American Sports Network, has purchased the world's largest cricket website, and the largest rugby website. In addition to these purchases mentioned by the Financial Times, ESPN recently announced ScoreCenter, which eventually will provide live scores for 23 sports in 180 countries.

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ESPN eyes UK rights to Premier League

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