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BBC Motion Gallery Opens Up BBC Sport Archives to Digital Channel, ESPN Classic

1 June 2006

BBC Motion Gallery, the footage sales arm of BBC Worldwide has brokered a deal to license a minimum of 650 hours of BBC Sport archive programming to UK digital channel, ESPN Classic. In the largest ever BBC Sport archive deal, ESPN Classic will be able to select content from the entire archive catalogue, distributed by BBC Motion Gallery.

Dating back to the 1950’s, the vast archive offers an exclusive look back at some of the best moments in British sporting history. ESPN Classic viewers will have the chance to experience classic sporting moments from events such as the FA Cup, The Grand National, The London Marathon, Royal Ascot, The Commonwealth Games, The Five Nations, The Six Nations and the England Cricket tests. Many of the clips have rarely been seen since their original broadcast on the BBC.

ESPN Classic can be seen in the UK on the SKY platform on channel 442, and is devoted entirely to the greatest moments and legends of sport. The 3-year, non-exclusive deal grants ESPN Classic the right to use BBC Sport archive material as part of their programming line up.

Simon Gibbs, Managing Director, BBC Motion Gallery said, “We’re delighted to be working with ESPN Classic to unlock the extensive BBC Sport archives. ESPN Classic will have the opportunity to showcase the very best in British sports programming, with the chance to choose from the 70,000 hours of BBC Sport content represented by BBC Motion Gallery.”

Tony Stimpson, Director of Programming, Europe ESPN Classic said - “We are delighted at this deal, that we will be able to give a new home to the best of British sport through the ages on ESPN Classic. Following its launch the channel is capturing the imagination of sports fans across the UK, and this additional programming will enable us to further showcase unforgettable sporting moments and events to our passionate audience.”

For further information please contact Sarah Andrews, Press Officer - BBC Motion Gallery on 020 8433 3614 or

Note to editors:

BBC Motion Gallery

BBC Motion Gallery, a division of BBC Worldwide Limited, offers media professionals in advertising, television, film and corporate video production access to the world’s most comprehensive collection of high-quality motion imagery for licensing worldwide. With more than 500 million feet of film and 300,000 hours of video, BBC Motion Gallery encompasses a wealth of content covering natural history, sport, news, locations, art, music, celebrities, culture and more. BBC Motion Gallery is also the exclusive global representative of the CBS News Archive, one of the world’s most respected news collections. BBC Motion Gallery operates from offices in London and regional offices in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

BBC Worldwide Ltd

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. In 2004/05 BBC Worldwide returned £145 million to the BBC from its six business operations: TV Channels, TV Sales, BBC Magazines, Home Entertainment, Children's and New Media.

Sarah Andrews | Press Officer | Global TV Sales

Room B115 | BBC Worldwide | Woodlands | 80 Wood Lane | London | W12 OTT

T: +44 (0)20 8433 3614 | M : + 44 (0)7738 800 826