Premier League's new TV deal shows slowing economic growth

Doug Mendoza
February 14, 2018

Sky has maintained its position as the main broadcaster of live Premier League football after claiming four of the seven available packages of television rights for 2019-22, it has been announced.

Overall, Sky is actually paying £199m less than it did in 2015 (£4.176bn), but will have the rights to broadcast two more games per season (126 in 2015, vs 128 in 2019) when the new accord kicks in.

BT claimed the other package to have been sold so far, switching from its current 5.30pm slot on Saturdays to 32 games at 12.30pm.

There had been talk that global technology giants Amazon and Facebook might enter the fray but they remain on the outside for the time being, although the Premier League said on Tuesday that "multiple bidders" were interested in the remaining two "simulcast" packages.

Package F (featuring 20 matches from one bank holiday programme and one midweek fixture programme) and package G (20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes) are still up for grabs, with neither BT, nor Sky, planning a bid.

The deal will begin from 2019.

Sky and BT are both understood to be paying almost UK£2 million less per match than they pay under their current deal worth UK£5.136 billion in total.

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Seven packages were up for sale, with Sky Sports taking four so far and BT Sport landing another.

"I don't think that those two packages by themselves are going to bridge the gap between what the domestic rights were sold for last time and what they're going for this time", said Dan Jones, head of the sports business group at the accountancy firm Deloitte.

Furthermore, Sky has bought the eight games in the new 7.45pm slot on Saturday evenings, as well as getting 24 games it can show either on Friday or Monday evenings and 32 games at 2pm on Sundays.

Media speculation is growing with regards to the Premier League's remaining broadcast packages, with USA tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Apple reported to be considering lucrative bids to strengthen their United Kingdom product propositions through football content.

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

In addition to the remaining two United Kingdom packages to be decided, a further windfall will be expected when the overseas rights are sold.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's UK Chief Executive, said: "Not only do we remain the home of Premier League football but also the home of top quality drama, entertainment, comedy and other sports".

Other reports by GizPress

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