Sport BT Sports presenter Jake Humphreys

All that waiting, all that expectation over the summer, it is over my friends. The Premier League is back. While it is the duty of BT Sport's football anchor Jake Humphrey to inflate his own programme with hyperbole, which he duly fulfilled with his opening statements, it is the prerogative of the punter to validate the product with his or her on/off button.

James Corrigan: Stubbsy a perfect fit for Mickey Mouse football

View From The Sofa: ESPN

ESPN lands pay-TV deal with big four

ESPN has sealed agreements to broadcast its new sports channel over the four largest pay-TV providers in the UK, after BT and Top Up TV signed up.

Business Diary: Gee-gee TV bets on gamblers feeling flush

You have to love the horse racing industry; it's behaving as if the credit crunch never happened. Racing UK, the specialist satellite channel owned by a number of racecourses, has released its subscription package details after falling out of the bundle offered by Setanta. It wants £20 a month. That may be what the channel charged in 2004 but is more than a little steep when you consider that all the really important races are available free on Channel Four while Ascot, Doncaster and the best Ireland has to offer is available as part of a basic Sky package through At The Races. A Ryanair service, then, at British Airways prices.

Business Diary: Female grooming trend raises eyebrows

The recession has brought much pain in the form of rising unemployment, tumbling house prices and bankruptcies. But in terms of human aesthetics, surely nothing is as tragic as the fashion trend for women to shave their eyebrows during the recession. Following the lead of ever-so-sensible models, right, more women are apparently shaving off, or bleaching, their eyebrows to make a cut-price fashion statement. After all, they only have to pay for a pair of tweezers or a bottle of peroxide. Given that the treatment makes some women look like bald aliens, Diary can't wait for the recession to end.

ESPN seals distribution deal with Virgin Media

ESPN has secured its second major broadcasting agreement in the UK, with a deal to show its sports channels on Virgin Media. The Disney-owned broadcaster is also in late stage negotiations to wholesale the new ESPN channel, which goes live on Monday, to remaining pay TV providers BT Vision and Top Up TV.

BT challenges BSkyB over Premier League

Incoming BT Vision chief vows to offer Premier League football in 2010

Canis Media called in for Setanta channel fire-sale

Setanta Sports is moving a step closer to extinction after a specialist group was called in to oversee a fire-sale of the collapsed Irish broadcaster's channels, although it expects to raise only £1m – just third of their true value.

Combat sport: Bisping carries British hopes

Michael Bisping carries the hopes of British mixed martial arts on his improbably-broad shoulders tomorrow, when he takes on legendary American Dan Henderson at UFC 100, the biggest event in the emerging combat sport's ten-year history.

ESPN plans to stay in the studio

ESPN will broadcast Premier League matches in Britain from a London-based studio rather than live from the grounds, using a channel previously dedicated to American sports. ESPN, owned by The Walt Disney Co, acquired the rights to televise 46 matches next season and 23 in each of the following three after the Irish broadcaster Setanta collapsed last month. The matches will be aired on the British ESPN channel, previously known as ESPN America, it was announced yesterday. The channel will continue showing American sports.

Boxing: Sport on the ropes as Sky plays monopoly

The former boxing promoter Mickey Duff, now 80, tells how many years ago, as a young small-hall hustler, he gave regular work to a journeyman fighter named Yolande Pompey, who suddenly got lucky and knocked out the over-the-hill former world middleweight champion Randolph Turpin. When Duff then offered him top billing on his next show, Pompey's manager, Jack Burns, told him: "Sorry Mickey, we're out of your league now."

ESPN to tie up with Sky over SPL rights

ESPN and BSkyB are set to launch a joint bid to screen the Scottish Premier League (SPL) from next season, with an announcement expected as early as today. The broadcasting giants are understood to be close to tabling an offer for the rights that the football authority clawed back from Setanta Sports shortly before the Irish group collapsed last month.

David Prosser: Sky's future is not quite so bright

Outlook: Sky is not a company for which people often feel too sorry.

BSkyB to fight premium channels plan

BSkyB vowed today to "use all available legal avenues" to challenge the communications regulator's plans to force it to sell its sports and movies content to rivals at regulated prices.

Maroons extend purple patch over Blues

New South Wales 14 Queensland 24

Setanta rescue collapses as administrators are called in

Irish sports broadcaster is forced off air, disappointing 1.2 million subscribers
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