ESPN, which picked up Setanta's rights to show Barclays Premier League matches after the latter's collapse, represents the biggest threat to date to Sky Sports' pre-eminence in sports broadcasting.
Sky has signed a deal to offer ESPN as part of its range of packages for residential and commercial customers. However, ESPN has said it is speaking to other pay-TV providers.
Sky Sports plans to roll out a campaign this autumn that will focus on promoting the
channel brand rather than individual games and events.
ESPN UK is set to launch on 3 August and will televise 46 Premier League matches this season. The channel will also show a range of international sports including a selection of premium US sports.
Earlier this month, ESPN, which is majority-owned by Disney, hired Wieden & Kennedy and Carat to handle its ad and media accounts.