ESPN exec refuses to rule out new channel

A senior representative from ESPN has refused to rule out the possibility of launching a new sports channel.

Simon Potter, senior director of programming in Europe, Middle East and Africa, stressed that there are no plans currently in place, but left the door open to a move in the future – which could create more broadcast jobs in the UK.

In comments reported by, he said: “It is partly dependent on our Premier League auction which is coming up soon. If we are successful in that, we’d have to look very seriously at a second channel.”

Currently, the televised sports sector in the UK is dominated by Sky and Mr Potter stressed that ESPN needs to differentiate itself from the industry heavyweights, hence why a rolling news channel has not yet been launched.

A full interview with Mr Potter appeared in Sports Mole, in which he said that the Premier League has been one of the main building blocks in the channel’s evolution, but the company is now keen to diversify in terms of the sports it shows.

In his view, ESPN’s foray into golf did “really well”; while there has also been the addition of Aviva Premiership rugby, tennis and darts.

by Paul Smithson on April 2, 2012

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