Thursday, September 03, 2009

ESPN, NFL extend European NFL Rights for 4 years

ESPN America and the National Football League have reached a four-year agreement for English-language television rights of NFL games in Europe, it was announced today by Lynne Frank, Senior Vice president and Managing Director, ESPN EMEA.

The four-year agreement, which begins this season, enables ESPN America to broadcast approximately 100 NFL games per season – including preseason, regular-season and postseason games, culminating with the Super Bowl – in 41 European territories.

ESPN America will televise four to six live games per week during the regular season including a live game during each of the following NFL broadcast windows: Sunday (1 p.m. EST), Sunday (4 p.m. EST), Sunday Night Football (8:15 p.m. EST.), and Monday Night Football (8:30 p.m. EST). ESPN America will also air the season-opening kickoff game, Thursday/Saturday games, the Thanksgiving Day tripleheader, all Wild Card and Divisional playoff games, the AFC and NFC Championship Games, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

Additional highlights of the agreement include the NFL Draft, ESPN-branded studio programming and NFL Films programming.

“Securing and expanding our rights to the National Football League, one of the most compelling leagues anywhere in the world, will strengthen our core US sports assets,” said Frank. “This agreement reaffirms our desire to continue to serve fans across Europe with the most comprehensive and diverse lineup of events from the world’s top sports.”

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with ESPN America in serving English-speaking NFL fans across Europe,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL vice president, media strategy and development. “We believe ESPN will continue to do an outstanding job of bringing our fans closer to our sport.”

European territories covered under this agreement:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus , Czech Republic , Estonia , France , Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy (including San Marino and Vatican City), Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia , Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta (beginning with the 2010 season), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey (beginning with the 2010 season), and Ukraine.

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About ESPN

Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

ESPN International has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of over 45 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of brand extension businesses, which allow ESPN to reach fans in 200 countries and territories.

In Europe, ESPN America has rights to show NFL, NHL, MLB and NCAA Football and Basketball across Europe, available in 43 countries and ESPN Classic now has five networks (UK, French, Italian, pan-European and Middle Eastern feeds) available in over 40 countries. Online, Soccernet is the destination of choice for football fans worldwide. ESPN acquired - the world’s leading cricket website - and – a leading rugby news, features and information portal – in summer 2007. - the company’s signature broadband service - launched in Europe in January 2008. In August 2008, ESPN acquired the world’s leading independent motor racing website,



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