ESPN keen on Orange Sports

US sports TV network ESPN is eyeing France Telecom’s Orange Sports channel, the telco’s boss revealed yesterday.
Stephane Richard said the US broadcaster has shown interest in opening talks over the potential acquisition, but is one of several firms in the frame that include Societe Television France 1, and the country’s football league, Bloomberg reported.
However the reports made no mention of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which was reportedly in advanced discussions regarding a merger with Orange Sports in July.
Richard had stated he would seek partners for the telco’s TV assets as part of his five year plan for the firm, unveiled in July.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Le Web tech conference in Paris, Richard also revealed the telco is aiming to grab a substantial slice of France’s 4G spectrum to cope with future demand for mobile data services, said.
French regulator Arcep last week announced it will award 4G licenses early next year, with a view to kicking off commercial services late 2011 and early 2012.