Walt Disney's sports television network ESPN has acquired exclusive rights to telecast Premier League football highlights on UK mobile phones. ESPN has won the rights to show Barclays premier League matches from its pay-TV rival BSkyB.
Smartphone owners can view instant clippings of all the exciting moments of matches screened by the sports channel. The channel now owns mobile rights to all 380 Premier League matches to be held over the next three seasons, starting from August.
Lynne Frank, ESPN's senior vice-president and MD said, "Mobile devices are an indispensable lifeline for football fans, who expect easy, quick access to the latest goals and action wherever they are. Adding these rights will allow us to advance our commitment to delivering great sport across the many screens UK fans use each day."
Though ESPN has refused to reveal its pay package for the rights, it is being rumoured by different sources that the amount could go up to "single-digit millions".
The exact packages and price plans are likely to be announced by the company within the next few weeks. It could either build up a partnership with one of the UK's mobile networks to provide an exclusive coverage, or offer it to all. The clips may also be available on Apple's new mini computer, the iPad. With this move ESPN will be winning a major share from BSkyB that has been dominating the first class football for years.
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