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Sport1 inks ESPN deal, launches US sports channel

German sports broadcaster Sport1 is launching a new pay-TV channel for US sports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland after licensing content from ESPN Sports Media.

Sport1 US is due to launch on August 1 and will be available in both SD and HD on the Kabel Deutschland, Sky Deutschland, Unitymedia and Kabel BW platforms.

The firm has negotiated what is says is a “comprehensive ESPN rights package” for the channel, which includes broadcast rights to NCAA College Football and College Basketball for the next three seasons through 2016. The ESPN rights package also includes live broadcast rights to the IndyCar Series for the remainder of the 2013 season as well as 2014 and 2015.

Sport1 has also agreed further pay-TV rights for NFL American football and NBA basketball coverage, expanding on what it previously offered on its Sport+ pay-TV channel. Sport1 now has the rights to show seven NFL and three NBA games live per week on pay TV – as well as playoff matches and the Super Bowl and NFL Finals.

“With Sport1 US we are extending our digital portfolio under the multimedia umbrella brand Sport1 to include another pay-TV offering – alongside our already superbly established channel Sport1+,” said Bernhard Burgener, CEO of Sport 1’s parent company Constantin Medien.

“There are a great many fans of US sports in theGerman-speaking region, too, and we want to satisfy the demand in future with a broad range of premium US sports on Sport1 US.”

Sport1 is based in in Ismaning, near Munich. As well as its free flagship TV channel Sport1, the firm launched its pay-TV channel Sport1+ went on air in October 2010 and now adds a third channel to its line-up.

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