Television

ESPN Classic Sport Network will launch in Europe

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Last week ESPN. and Sports Capital Partners announced the creation of ESPN Classic Sport. This is a new network of European sports channels which will highlight greatest moments in sports history. Sports Capital Partners is a private investment firm focused on sports, media, leisure and lifestyle related businesses. The company sees the creation of ESPN Classic Sport as a tremendous opportunity for their fund.

TWI which claims to be the largest independent producer, packager, and distributor of sports programming in the world will also be involved by providing support services like production.

Early next year France will first get a taste of ESPN Classic Sport with a minimum reach of 2.5 million homes, including the subscribers of CanalSatellite and TPS, France’s direct-to-home satellite TV operators.

It will show highlights of domestic, European Club, and national team football matches; the best action from the tennis Grand Slams, historic races from the Tour de France, great moments in golf plus rugby, skating, skiing. Launches in other major European markets will occur over the next several years.

ESPN Classic Sport is ESPN’s first branded network initiative in Europe. ESPN has a 70% stake while the remaining 30% is owned by Sports Capital Partners. It will be a 24 hours a day deal. The programming will be a mix of full length matches, event highlights, and produced retrospective programs. Some sports that will be covered are football, tennis, gymnastics and skiing.

ESPN Classic Sport will be presented in the local language of each country where it is available.

In America ESPN Classic claims to be the leader in presenting classic moments in sport. It claims to reach more than 43 million subscribers. ESPN also has an equity interest in ESPN Classic Canada which was launched in September.

The headquarters and main production office for ESPN Classic Sport will be based in London, with sales, marketing and local production in Paris.

President, ESPN George Bodenheimer said, "Launching ESPN's first branded network in Europe is exciting. It reflects ESPN's continued growth and the great interest in the quality services we provide to fans. With ESPN’s experience in classic-themed sports programming, the support of Sports Capital Partners, and the multifaceted television experience of TWI, we will offer European viewers a unique opportunity to relive the most memorable moments in sports history.

ESPN International now has interests in 26 networks distributed to over 112 million households in more than 140 countries and territories outside of America.

TWI produces 6000 hours of original programming each year for distribution to more than 200 territories and has production centers in London, New York, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Seoul, Stockholm and Sydney.

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