It has also won the rights to air 23 games per season from 2010 to 2013. ESPN is believed to have paid an estimated £250m to clinch the deal.
Setanta’s failure to meet its Friday deadline (June 19) for payment now throws further question marks over the Irish broadcaster’s future, which could see it going into administration.
It has already put its advertising review on hold. It is thought to involve the incumbent, Big Al’s Creative Emporium, which will be up against Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and Beattie McGuinness Bungay. Setanta’s marketing director is Tim Ryan.
ESPN has also signed a deal with BSkyB to make its Premier League games available to the latter’s subscribers.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Premier League (SPL) has taken back its UK broadcast rights from Setanta after it missed a £3m payment.
The SPL says it is now in the process of selling its domestic broadcasting rights. BSkyB is thought to already be in talks with SPL.