ESPN reviews UK creative and media briefs

ESPN, the Disney-owned broadcaster that this week unveiled details of its plans to cover Premier League football next season, is on the hunt for an advertising and media agency to help launch its new UK channel.

ESPN...reviewing UK media and creative
ESPN...reviewing UK media and creative

The broadcaster is in talks with several unnamed ad agencies and is also expected to appoint a media agency to handle campaigns when its ESPN channel launches on 3 August.

ESPN's advertising budget is not known, but Setanta, which held the Premier League rights before going into administration recently, spent £8 million in the past year on advertising to promote its coverage.

Wieden & Kennedy handles ESPN's US advertising, but a source close to the process said that ESPN wants to hold a "fair and open" contest involving other agencies.

Unlike Setanta, ESPN does not plan to sell its coverage directly to viewers. This week, it announced a deal with Sky that will see the ESPN channel, the home to 46 Premier League matches next season, made available to Sky Sports customers for £9 a month and to other Sky customers for £12 a month.

The ESPN channel, which will sit alongside the existing ESPN Classic channel, will also offer international sports previously available on the ESPN America channel.

ESPN's co-operation with Sky also extends to production and ad sales. Sky's in-house production team will produce ESPN's coverage of Premier League football, while Sky Media, its sales house, will sell ad space for the new channel.