European sports broadcasters are looking to acquire rights from ESPN America.
The European version of ESPN America will cease broadcasting on Wednesday. In the UK BT Sport has acquired all the rights and will continue with a localised version of the channel, but for the rest of Europe the various sports rights are up for grabs.
The rights include NFL (National Football League), MLB (Major League Baseball) and NHL (National Hockey League).
Many fans of the sports exclusively broadcast by ESPN America are worried they no longer will have access to live coverage of their favourite teams when the channel stops broadcasting.
In the Netherlands, Chellomedia’s Sport1 is now negotiating to obtain rights for the Sport1 multiplex of premium channels.
In Germany, the new Sportamerica HD hopes to obtain all former ESPN rights. It is a new channel from Sportdigital, who plans to launch the new channel as soon as all rights will be cleared.
In France Al Jazeera’s sports channel BeInSport has acquired some of the rights.
In other territories, various broadcasters are also trying to pick up the rights to fill the void left by ESPN America. For an overview of NHL broadcast partners, see the NHL website For NBA games see their website.
For most of the European footprint, ESPN Player is available online. Some of the live sports from ESPN America is available on the online player (like College Football, College Basketball, X Games and Motorsports) but ESPN Player not available in Italy, Spain or Russia.
UPDATE. German broadcaster Sport1 has acquired most rights from ESPN America for distribution in Germany, Austria and Swizerland on its new pay-TV channel Sport1 US.