Virgin Media to show ESPN Premier League matches in HD

This follows a similar deal between ESPN and Sky announced earlier this month.

As a special introduction to its new ESPN and ESPN HD channels, Virgin Media will make them available to all its digital TV customers for no additional cost during August.

After that, customers who subscribe to the XL TV pack will be able to continue watching ESPN and ESPN HD at no extra cost. As part of the deal, those subscribers will also receive ESPN Classic, featuring the greatest moments of UK and European sport.

Sports fans on Virgin's M or L packs will be able to subscribe to ESPN and ESPN HD for £8 a month if they already subscribe to any combination of the Sky Sports channels, or £10 a month if not.

ESPN's new channel will launch on August 3rd. It will showcase 46 live Premier League foottball games during the 2009/10 season and 23 matches for each of the following three seasons.

The first live Barclays Premier League game on ESPN will be Everton vs Arsenal at 5.30pm on August 15th.

ESPN picked up the Premier League TV rights after the demise of Setanta.