BT Sport launched this week, on Thursday 1st August.
On Sky the two new channels BT Sport 1 & BT Sport 2 can be found on channels 413 and 414 respectively. These channels are in HD on those channel numbers if you are an HD customer with standard definition simulcasts on 426 and 427. If you don’t have HD then the standard definition channels appear on 413 and 414 with placeholders for the HD simulcasts on 426 and 427.
BT Sport 1 and 2 are also available on digital terrestrial via BT Vision on channels 58 and 59, and also on BT Vision’s IPTV service.
Due to the launch of BT Sport, Sky Sports 1 & 2 are no longer available on digital terrestrial service Top Up TV, and ESPN America & ESPN Classic have closed down on all platforms.
ESPN will broadcast unencrypted throughout the first weekend of February.
The channel will be available for free from Friday 3rd February to Monday 6th February.
Freeview, Sky and BT Vision viewers will be able to watch everything on the channel that weekend with no charge.
ESPN will be free all this weekend from tomorrow ’til late on Sunday night. All channels in the ESPN family will be free for Top Up TV (digital terrestrial), Sky and Virgin Media customers.
The new UK version of ESPN has now appeared on channel 529, ESPN HD has appeared on channel 530 (available to V+ customers), ESPN America has moved to channel 531 (this will continue to broadcast in the UK despite earlier rumours that it would cease broadcasting when ESPN UK launched) and ESPN Classic has appeared on channel 533.
The new channels launch today, and all ESPN channels will be available free for all XL TV customers, like the Setanta Sports channels used to be. If you are on the M TV or L TV package you can subscribe to ESPN and ESPN HD for £8 per month if you already subscribe to any combination of the Sky Sports channels or £10 a month if you don’t. ESPN and ESPN HD are free for all Virgin TV customers throughout August.
You may need to restart your set top box to pick up the channel changes (turn the box off at the plug socket for 30 seconds then switch it back on again).
In a surprise move, ESPN America is now staying.
Their official website says “We are pleased to announce that ESPN America will continue to broadcast in the UK. Therefore, you can continue to watch and enjoy the unrivalled live coverage and sports action from North America 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on ESPN America. ESPN America will be available in the UK via both Sky and Virgin Media along with our other sports channels – ESPN (from 3rd August) and ESPN Classic. Please see below for how to get ESPN America on Sky and Virgin Media”.
It was thought ESPN America would be axed in the UK to make way for the new UK version of ESPN, which launches on Monday.
Please note, however, ESPN America will be removed from Top Up TV on Digital Terrestrial to make way for the new ESPN UK channel.
Details of the new ESPN channel on Virgin Media have been announced.
Virgin Media have said “the new ESPN channel will be available in both standard and High Definition (HD) to Virgin Media’s 3.5 million digital TV customers from 3rd August”.
This comes as a surprise as we didn’t think Virgin would get the HD channel.
The new UK ESPN channel will air Premier League Football and other top sports.
Virgin Media continue – “Customers who subscribe to Virgin Media’s XL TV pack will be able to watch ESPN and ESPN HD at no additional cost. As part of the deal, these subscribers will also receive ESPN Classic, featuring the greatest moments of UK and European sport… dedicated sports fans who are on Virgin Media’s M or L pack will be able to subscribe to ESPN and ESPN HD for a great value price of £8 a month if they already subscribe to any combination of the Sky Sports channels, or £10 a month if not” and “as a special introduction to the new ESPN and ESPN HD channels, Virgin Media will make these ESPN channels available to all of its digital TV customers, for no additional cost, during August”.
So this means three new channels coming to Virgin Media in August – ESPN, ESPN HD (for V+ customers) and ESPN Classic. The existing ESPN America channel will close down on all platforms – cable and Sky.
Click here to read the Virgin Media press release in full.
It’s been confirmed ESPN’s new UK channel won’t run side-by-side with ESPN America – it will replace ESPN America on Virgin Media, Sky and Top Up TV (digital terrestrial).
The new UK channel will be available in standard definition and high definition on Sky. There’s no word yet on whether it will be carried in HD on Virgin Media.
ESPN UK will launch on the 3rd August on Virgin Media channel 553 and Top Up TV (digital terrestrial) channel 34.
The new channel will air UK premier league football when the new season begins this year.
Updated: Further to our news post a few days ago, AGB Nielson have announced ESPN’s new UK channel will begin BARB reporting on the 4th August and BBC News says the channel will start broadcasting on the 3rd August. The new channel will be on DTT, Virgin Media and Sky. This will mean ESPN America on DTT (Top Up TV) – Setanta Sports 1’s old slot – will probably be removed in August to make way for ESPN UK. The new ESPN UK channel will air Premier League football as well as other sports.
According to a channel guide PDF on the official Virgin Media website, the UK version of ESPN will launch on channel 553 soon. ESPN America is already available on channel 533, but this new UK ESPN will show Premier League matches when the new football season starts. It’s thought the new channel will be added to Virgin TV in August. The new channel is indicated as a premium channel on that channel guide.