Premier League - BT continues attack on Sky by buying ESPN

BT has escalated its war on Sky Sports' control of British sports broadcasting by buying up ESPN.

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The telecoms giant is launching a sports broadcasting service in the summer having won rights to 38 Premier League matches a season, and they have already signed up some of the nation's best-known TV presenters, including Clare Balding and Jake Humphrey with others – including Sky's Georgie Thompson – rumoured to be on their way.

If BT's takeover of ESPN – reportedly worth just over £10 million - gets the go-ahead from regulators it means that the company will be the new owners of both the ESPN and ESPN America channels.

That would mean they hold broadcasting rights to matches in the Premier League, FA Cup, SPL, UEFA Europa League, German Bundesliga, Aviva Premiership Rugby, women's tennis tour, NCAA College Basketball, NCAA College Football and NASCAR.

The ESPN Classic channel and the company's websites are excluded from the takeover deal, with the Guardian claiming that ESPN Classic will be axed entirely.

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