FreeSports will initially reach over 18 million of the 26 million UK homes and become the only free-to-air sports channel available on Freeview, Sky 424 and FreeSat 252. It will also broadcast free on TalkTalk and BT.
The channel is in partnership with global sports management agencies IMG, Infront, Lagardère, MP Silva, and Pitch, with Sky Media managing advertising.
FreeSports will deliver over 1000 live events every year and give over 10 million UK homes access to a 24/7 sports channel for the first time. Free live sport will be served up on a daily basis with live UK events featuring alongside live global sports.
FreeSports will have up to 10 live football games per week with exclusive coverage of the Portuguese Primeira League, Belgian Pro League, Superliga Argentina, Spanish La Liga 2 and Airtricity League. Full match coverage will be included as part of Barca TV, Bayern TV, AC Milan TV and Borussia Dortmund TV. Coverage on opening weekend also includes England U21 opening Euro qualifier against the Netherlands.
Rugby League fans will be able to view select live NRL games, World Cup games in the autumn and UK Championship games. NRL highlights, the NRL Footy Show and Rugby League Back Chat will also be available free.
Motorsports enthusiasts will be able to watch a huge array of free content including live Australian V8 Supercars including the Bathurst 1000 in October, Swedish Speedway, NASCAR lower series, Monster Jam and Arena Cross.
The NHL is back on free-to-air UK television for the first time since 2005 with 3 live games a week and Ice Hockey fans will also get to see the IIHF World Championships, 5 Team GB games from Div 1A, The Champions Hockey League and the Swedish Hockey League.
The channel will also feature the massive Asian MMA organisation One FC every month and is planning a monthly live boxing show in the UK. An announcement about live weekly coverage of a UK wrestling promotion is also imminent.
Throughout the year over 25 ATP 250 tennis events will be showcased live along with French horse racing and coverage of show jumping from the FEI including the Nations Cup.
FreeSports also aims to showcase some of the best local and national UK sports disciplines at all levels and the channel hopes to make announcements soon that will include football, rugby union, basketball, swimming, darts, badminton, pool, squash, ice hockey, volleyball and bowls.
Richard Sweeney, General Manager of FreeSports commented, “We are super excited to be launching this new free-to-air sports channel which marks a first for our business and a first in the UK TV market”. “We believe our new service will be welcomed and enjoyed by UK consumers, many of whom don’t have access to a dedicated live sports channel”. This is also a game changer and massive opportunity for UK sports organisations to showcase and grow their leagues by having live coverage reach over 85% of homes via FreeSports, a reach that no other sports channel can come close to.
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