UK communications services provider BT Group Plc (LON:BT.A) has agreed to purchase the UK and Ireland TV channels business of US sports entertainment company ESPN Inc for an unspecified amount, the pair said.
The operations being acquired include the ESPN and ESPN America channels and their live sports rights portfolio, which comprises the FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the German Bundesliga.
The transaction will allow BT to continue to show a range of US sports that ESPN America currently shows. Besides, it will enable the buyer to provide live coverage of the FA Cup for the 2013/14 season, the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League until the end of the 2016/17 season and the UEFA Europa League and German Bundesliga through to the end of the 2014/15 season, BT said.
The agreement does not include the ESPN Classic channel, which the US firm plans to wind down in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
The deal is seen to wrap up on 31 July, subject to regulatory approval.