Disney 'exploring exit' for ESPN UK

The future of ESPN's UK sports channel looks uncertain after Jay Rasulo, the finance chief at its parent The Walt Disney Company, said the company is "exploring an exit" from the UK.

Kevin Keegan: former England footballer stars in ESPN's we speak your sport ad
Kevin Keegan: former England footballer stars in ESPN's we speak your sport ad

In a conference call earlier this week, Rasulo, senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer of The Walt Disney Company, said ESPN had "experienced losses" in the UK due to the increasing cost of sports rights.

Moreover, Rasulo said Disney was "exploring an exit" for the UK business.

ESPN will no longer have the rights to broadcast live footage from the Barclays Premier League, which is the mainstay of its UK channel, from August, after losing out to BT in the rights auction.

Last month, ESPN also lost further rights to the Premier League, when News International picked up the mobile rights that ESPN currently owns, in a multimillion-pound deal.

ESPN arrived in the UK in 2009 after picking up defunct broadcaster Setanta's broadcast rights for the Barclays Premier League, and broadcast live coverage from 46 games for the 2009/2010 and 23 games from the past three seasons.

A UK spokesman for ESPN said: "We have been saying for some time that we are exploring a range of potential options for our business.  We are not going to discuss specifics."

Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).