ESPN has snapped up the rights previously held by Setanta for the new Uefa Europa League, which will replace the Uefa Cup from this season. ESPM will share rights to the Europa League competition with Channel Five.

ESPN has done a three-year deal, with the first matches due to be broadcast from later this month. The final is in May next year.

Sides involved include current Uefa Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Roma, Lazio, Valencia, Ajax, PSV, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, while those of British interest will include Celtic, Everton and Fulham.

The group stage features 48 clubs, including 10 eliminated in the playoff round of Uefa Champions League qualifiers last month. The ties will begin on 17 September and will be broadcast on Wednesday and Thursday nights throughout the season.