ESPN has been awarded the exclusive UK mobile highlights rights to all 380 Premier League matches for the next three seasons, from the start of the 2010/11 campaign.
The rights to in-match, post-match and customised highlights will go some way towards compensating for the reduction in live television rights on ESPN’s UK channel. From the new season ESPN will have access to just one of the six live Premier League packages, rather than the two it picked up following the demise of Setanta Sports.
“Mobile devices are an indispensible 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,” said Lynne Frank, senior vice president and managing director, ESPN – Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The mobile highlights are currently held by BSkyB, which markets the content as 24/7 Football, in association with The Sun and the News of the World. Fans pay £5 per month for the service that also includes goals from the Champions League, and popular Sky Sports shows Soccer AM and Soccer Saturday.
How much of a loss to BSkyB the clip service turns out to be remains to be seen. Viewers will still be able to access the Sky Sports mobile service, where the £6 per month sports and news pack also includes ESPN.