ESPN has reached a multi-year agreement with Premier Rugby for exclusive live rights to a batch of Guinness Premiership games from the 2010/11 season.

Running until the 2012/13 season, the deal enables ESPN to broadcast 43 live games each year, including exclusive coverage of the Guinness Premiership Final and one of the two semi-finals. All highlights can also be shown on ESPN's digital media resources, such as ESPN Scrum.

The rights were previously owned by sports broadcaster Setanta, which signed a joint multi-year agreement with Sky Sports to share the coverage. However, Setanta's games had to be re-tendered after the broadcaster collapsed in June.

Under the new arrangement, Sky Sports will still broadcast 26 live Guinness Premiership games for each season, including a semi-final tie.