BT In Talks To Acquire Football Rights From ESPN As Broadcaster Plans To Exit U.K. Market
BT "is in discussions to acquire football rights" from ESPN as the Disney-owned channel "explores an exit from the U.K.," according to Budden & Thomas of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The interest comes as BT "plans to roll out as many as three sports channels to broadcast football, rugby and other sports content it has already acquired" for almost £1B ($1.55B). ESPN rights that "are being touted for sale include broadcast rights to certain matches from the German Bundesliga, the Europa League and the English FA Cup." Satellite broadcaster BSkyB "is also interested in the assets." Analysts estimate that "acquiring the three rights together would cost about" £20M ($31M) annually (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/17).