Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ESPN America HD is now Sport America HD

Due to the re-organisation of ESPN UK and the purchasing of broadcast rights across Europe and the Middle East, ESPN has decided to cancel its ESPN America programming after July 31st, 2013.

This open market, especially in the Deutsch speaking countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland has become somewhat of a rights battleground between German cable channels Sport1, Sportdigital and the ProSieben.sat1 group. Sport1 had already some rights to rebroadcast NFL and NBA packages and was maneuvering to acquire some of Sportdigital's rights to Ligue 1 & 2, Series A, MLS and the Brasilian LigafĂștbol as well as regional German football championships.

In a surprise turn of events, Sport1 managed to snatch all the TV rights to Soccer in various leagues in Italy, Germany, Brasil as well as the American MLS in 2014 while Sportdigital, in an attempt to stay afloat has laid terms for the four main American sports; NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB and is looking to rebroadcast some sports under the jurisdiction of ESPN in the USA such as NCAA football, basketball and baseball.

From August 1st, Sportdigital will offer a sister channel Sport America in SD and where available will be pushing for HD bandwidth on the German speaking market's cable and sat providers.

The exact sport lineup and programming is still under discussion however the German media commission has granted a 10 year license for Sport America HD to operate in the region.


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