9/14/2008

ESPN bidding for rights to English Premiership

The International Herald Tribune is reporting that ESPN is considering bidding for the rights to show the English Premiership in the UK.

ESPN is considering a challenge Fox and its News Corp. cousin, British Sky Broadcasting, for Premier League rights starting with the 2010-11 season. If ESPN succeeds, it could be the spark to increasing ESPN's presence in England and perhaps beyond on the European continent.
I hope this is a two-way street. I think it would be interesting to see a wider audience fior US sports in Europe, because I personally think American football is a fascinating sport. It's the only sport I continue to watch on a regular basis, in part because it's a seasonal thing. But mostly because there are a lot of interesting story-lines woven into the way the games unfold. I watched a good portion of the Jets-Patriots game in part because the image of Brett Favre playing in a Jets uniform is compelling to me.

When I'm in England, I often try to explain the sport to my cousins and anyone else who will listen. It doesn't work so much, but ESPN likely would do a better job of televising American football, especially if they're also able to cross-promote it heavily if they're the people showing the games.

My point is, though, that I would love to see the English Premiership on basic cable, which is all I'm ever going to pay for. I could see it now, but my cable bill would rise to over $130 a month. That wouldn't do. At the moment, I really don't know how to follow the sport, but I do want to know what happens. I'm currently very much interested to see Manchester United not doing so well so far (#14) . I'm happy to see Hull City currently fourth in the league table. Of course, it's still early, but English football has the added pleasure of seeing who gets relegated to the league below at the end of the season.

I like that I'm increasingly living in a world where I don't have to choose between England and America.

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