ESPN's Free Weekend, sponsored by Nokia Lumia, begian at 6am on Friday February 3 and made ESPN and ESPN HD available to all Sky, TopUp TV and BT Vision subscribers in the UK and Ireland. Additionally, the channel was available for free to the 10 million UK households who have the subscription-free digital TV service Freeview, meaning that in total, potentially some 20 million UK households had free access to the channel.
Live events covered included top-flight football from across Europe, action from the NBA, Ultimate Fighting Championship and live studio shows. The real litmus test though will be the figures for the live Premier League game on saturday evening between Manchester City and Fulham.
The appaling weather across the country on saturday may ironically help push the figures up as armchair fans stayed at home and many fans missed out on live matches with so many games postponed.
According to Nick Harris in The Mail on Sunday anything around 5m viewers will be considered good, and that will compare favourably with Sky's largest ever audience for a Premier League game which was the average 3.2 million that watched Spurs v Man United this time last year.