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No more ESPN for Sky customers from July 2013


dopper

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I got an email from Sky last week titled Changes To Your Sky Subscription

 

The message was short and sweet:

 

Hello Mark,

 

We're getting in touch to let you know your ESPN subscription will be coming to an end on 31 July 2013, so it will no longer appear on your bill.

 

You don't need to do a thing but if you want to end your subscription earlier it's easy to do here.

 

Kind regards,

 

The Sky Team

 

This was a surprise to me. I hadn't requested to cancel my subscription, and the fact there was no option mentioned to renew my contract it seemed strange.

 

Yesterday I got a letter from Sky saying exactly the same thing.

 

I just Googled it and found the following reply on a Sky customers forum to somebody who had the same email/letter as me:

 

Good Morning tom454,

 

Our agreed carriage date of the channel with ESPN has come to an end. Subsequent to BT

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BT will have 3 channel available from August 1st two BT Sport branded channels and they will retain the ESPN branding for the other channel which is expected to use the ESPN America brand .

 

They have bought ESPN lock stock and barrel getting all there existing TV deals but due to the fact that the UFC contract expires the day ESPN shuts down their UK Operations they have had to negotiable a new deal with the UFC which is believed to be a 3 year deal. ESPN Classic has not been bought by BT and thus will Cease to exist from July 31st unless a last minute deal is done to save it.

 

ESPN America I think will be slightly re-focused once BT have control because it will no longer be tied together with the feed produced for Scandinavia as currently certain american sports such as the live NBA games can not be shown on their due to another broadcasting company have the rights to show the live games so getting a dedicated UK feed for ESPN America should improve the channel greatly. It is important to note we are lucky to retain ESPN America as all over countries across Europe that receive ESPN America will lose it from August 1st.

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I'm still confused.

 

I thought BT was some kind of full cable package like Virgin Media.

 

It is simply a TV channel that Sky Customers can subscribe to, like we do now with ESPN?

ESPN finishes on 31 July, but will be replaced pretty much immediately afterwards with new BT Sports channels. The new BT Sports channels will be broadcast on Sky (in fact, they are already trialling them as The Sailing Channel 1 & 2 or something), but won't form part of your Sky Sports 'package' (i.e. billed as one) in the same way as ESPN - it'll likely be a separate subscription to a separate party (like with BoxNation etc).

 

BT do have their own TV system as well ('YouView from BT' and the lesser 'BT Vision'), which is effectively Freeview+HD with additional streamed internet content.

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