Sky and BT win Premier League TV rights

Jon Howard
February 16, 2018

But the billion-pound battle for Premier League rights has seen Sky and BT fight it out yet again for the 2019/20 season and the following three years.

BT Sport are now showing 42 games a season, with Sky Sports broadcasting 126 - meaning Sky will show more in the next cycle regardless of who wins the final two packages.

The amount is less than what the two broadcasters had paid out in the last bid - when they forked out a total of £5.136bn to screen 168 games.

Analysts at Jefferies said Sky, which has used Premier League soccer to help build its pay TV business over more than two decades, had emerged as the victor in the auction for domestic TV rights from 2019-22.

Sky's share price rose three percent on Wednesday after boasting how the new deal sees them paying 16 percent less per game than the previous agreement for their 128 games.

Interest from "multiple bidders" remains, the Premier League said.

"Both broadcasters are fantastic partners for the Premier League and have a track record of making our competition available to fans across the country through their high-quality and innovative programming". BT won one package and will pay £295 million per season.

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Austin Houlihan, director in Deloitte's sports business group, said that the value of live TV rights "will remain at a very healthy premium compared to those for any other football league from 2019 through to 2022", and that money can be ploughed back into talent and stadium improvements.

Last November, a three-year deal from 2019 was reportedly agreed with China's PPTV worth US$700 million (S$924.2 million) - 10 times the current contract for Chinese TV rights.

The packages that remain are 20 matches on one holiday combined with one midweek fixture list, and then two combined midweek fixture lists. BT TV recently started charging customers extra to access BT Sport, at £3.50 a month. This would allow the Premier League to test the water for livestreaming of its matches, something the 72-club Football League is already doing.

"Premier League clubs must remember how crucial the away supporter is to the atmosphere at games - it's a vital part of the spectacle which sells for billions around the globe", FSF chief-executive Kevin Miles said a statement to AFP.

"As IHS Markit expected, competition from the big tech firms for the main season-long packages failed to materialise", said IHS Markit research director, Ted Hall.

The telecoms giant said it has been "financially disciplined" during the bidding process, and that it expects to make returns through subscription, wholesale, commercial and advertising revenues.

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