Sky Signs ESPN for Another Innings

Neon subscribers will benefit from Sky expanding its ESPN deal, with more premium sports documentaries set to stream on the service.

And for the first time, as part of the strengthened ESPN slate, ESPNews, ACC Network, SEC Network and ESPNU will be available for Sky customers via the ESPN app and website.

Here’s the media release:

Sky Renews Long-Term Parternship With ESPN

All the best live sport and world-class sports programming from ESPN available on Sky including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, UFC, NCAA basketball, NCAA football, and the US Open, but that’s not all

    • 30 for 30 films included on ESPN 1 and 2, Sky Sport Now, and selected titles available on Neon.
    • ESPN flagship programming such as SportsCenter and extensive studio programming.

“ESPN and Sky have been teammates for many years here in Aotearoa”, says Sky CEO, Sophie Moloney.

“We are excited to build on our partnership with ESPN, meaning we continue to entertain our customers with some of the best and most inspiring global sport from one of the world’s biggest brands.

“ESPN is home to some of the most exhilarating competitions on the planet.

“There’s no denying the world has been tipped upside down, and sport has had its moments, but there is huge demand for the fierce rivalry on the NBA court, matched by the strategy on an NFL field, combativeness on the NHL ice, the out-of-the-park hits in MLB, the grit of UFC Fight Nights and the glamour of the US Open.”

Moloney says: “We have our own heroes in New Zealand, but living legends like Serena, LeBron, Rapinoe, McGregor and Brady are equally important and inspiring for Kiwi sports fans. New Zealanders are also making their own waves overseas and we can follow their stories through ESPN.”

Kiwi athletes featured on ESPN include but are certainly not limited to:

    • Kai Kara-France, Brad Riddell, Shane Young and Israel Adesanya (UFC)
    • Steven Adams (NBA), Charlisse and Karla Leger-Walker (College Basketball)
    • along with a slew of Kiwis in the MLS (Myer Bevan(Vancouver Whitecaps), Kip Colvey (Colorado Rapids) Jake Gleeson (Portland Timbers), Stefan Marinovic (Vancouver Whitecaps), Michael Boxall (Minnesota United), Tommy Smith and Deklan Wynne (Colorado Rapids) Bill Tuiloma (Portland Timbers) and Elliot Collier (Chicago Fire)

“We are thrilled to announce a new long-term partnership with Sky, and I am delighted that we can continue to grow our longstanding relationship between the two companies” says Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand & Head of ESPN/National Geographic, APAC.

“Over the past year we’ve witnessed some iconic sporting moments on ESPN, from Tom Brady leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl triumph, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers claiming the NBA championship, and New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Kai Kara France flying the flag proudly in the UFC.”

“Sky customers will enjoy an increased slate of ESPN programming, with our award winning 30 for 30 series, and flagship studio programming, complementing our package of premier live sport,” says ESPN Australia New Zealand General Manager Haydn Arndt.

“This is strengthened by our recently enhanced long-term deals with the NFL and NHL, as well as the NBA, MLB and UFC, among others.”

For the first time, ESPNews, ACC Network, SEC Network and ESPNU will be available for Sky customers via the ESPN app and website.

Moloney confirms the team is amplifying premium sports documentaries across digital.

“The Peabody and Emmy award winning ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series will join exceptional and exclusive existing sports storytelling from HBO, Vice and Sky Originals to broaden the Neon breadth of content.

“Our Neon customers are enjoying our sports documentaries and we know they will welcome even more films, streaming on their smart TV, laptop, tablets or smartphones.”

Moloney also says: “Our goal is to connect our customers with the sport and entertainment they love, in the ways that work for them, wherever they are in New Zealand.

“We know from our customer research and viewership data that ESPN is a well-loved part of Sky’s sport offering, and we are pleased to secure these rights for our customers.

“Our research shows ESPN content is particularly appealing to younger sports fans (under 45 years old) and we look forward to continuing to work with our partner ESPN to deliver an awesome sport line-up to our customers.”

The new deal with ESPN is already in effect with two full-time ESPN channels on Sky, Sky Go, Sky Sport Now.

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