ESPN International is a family of networks around the world. It was begun in 1989 and is operated by ESPN Inc.
- ESPN Latin North (Mexico and Central America)
- ESPN Latin South (South America)
- ESPN 2 North (Mexico and Central America) (2 feeds)
- ESPN 2 South (South America) (4 feeds)
- ESPN 3 North (Mexico and Central America)
- ESPN 3 South (South America)
- ESPN+ (Only in HD)
- ESPN Extra
- J Sports (1, 2, 3 & 4 - in joint-venture with J:COM)
ESPN International does not directly operate its own channels in Canada, but owns a 20 percent voting interest (and slightly larger equity interest) in CTV Specialty Television, a subsidiary of the Canadian media company Bell Media. Canadian regulations on the foreign ownership of broadcasters prohibit ESPN from acquiring majority interest.
CTV Specialty Television in turn operates the following sports television channels:
- The Sports Network (TSN) – five feeds
- Réseau des sports (RDS) – two feeds
- RDS Info
- ESPN Classic (Canada)
Although these channels have mainly retained their local brands (ESPN having acquired part-ownership several years after TSN and RDS launched), they now mostly have ESPN-style logos and use other ESPN branding elements. TSN has also adopted the SportsCentre title for its sports highlights programs.
Through CTV Specialty, ESPN also has an indirect interest in Discovery Channel Canada and several related channels, which are operated in partnership with Discovery Communications. These holdings date to CTV Specialty's previous incarnations as Labatt Communications and later as NetStar Communications, in which ESPN also held a minority interest. ESPN is not believed to have any involvement with the Discovery operations.
ESPN is also indirectly associated with TSN Radio, a brand used by several sports radio stations (each wholly owned by Bell Media), each of which also carries a limited amount of ESPN Radio programming.
In February 2013, BT Group acquired ESPN's UK and Ireland television channel and remaining broadcasting contracts. Its domestic channel was re-branded as BT Sport ESPN, integrating it with the company's BT Sport channel group. In January 2015, BT Sport and ESPN reached a seven-year agreement to continue licensing ESPN's brand for the channel, as well as British rights to ESPN original programming and events whose international rights are owned by ESPN International. The agreement also allows for joint digital media initiatives between the two companies.
In February 2016, ESPN and Tencent reached an agreement of collaboration. ESPN's content will be localized and exclusively distributed and promoted by Tencent's digital platforms in China, including college basketball games, the X Games and an ESPN section on QQ.com.
Middle East and North AfricaEdit
In July 2013, ESPN announced that it would shut down its television networks in Africa, Middle East and Israel, citing a "strategic business decision" to focus on digital content and syndication for these regions.
In June 2012, News Corporation announced it would acquire ESPN's 50% stake in its joint venture ESPN Star Sports. Following the takeover, ESPN in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia was relaunched as Fox Sports in January 2013, while a version for Mainland China became Star Sports 2 in January 2014. Meanwhile, Star India took over the Indian operations, and relaunched the channels under the unified Star Sports banner in November 2013.
- "BT Sport and ESPN deepen relationship with long-term collaboration". BT plc. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "BT buys ESPN'S UK and Ireland TV channels". The Guardian. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "American sports fans cry foul as ESPN yanks Israeli broadcasts". Haaretz. 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- "News Corp. to Buy Out ESPN's Stake in Asian TV Venture". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "Fox Sports buys ESPN'S Asia TV channels". Spin. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2013-11-02.