ESPN uk is a sports television channel in the United Kingdom and Ireland owned by American sports broadcaster ESPN Inc. The channel launched on 3 August 2009.Programming is available in standard definition and high definition formats.The channel launched on 3 August 2009 as a result of ESPN’s acquisition of partial UK broadcast rights to the Premier League six weeks prior, caused in turn by the financial difficulties of Setanta Sports, which ceased broadcasting in Great Britain at about the same time.It marked ESPN’s first foray into live coverage of domestic sports events in the UK, which had previously been dominated by terrestrial networks such as the BBC and ITV, as well as pay services Sky Sports and Setanta. Prior to August 2009, ESPN’s only operations in the UK were archive sports channel ESPN Classic, as well as the pan-European ESPN America channel, which focuses on North American sport.
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