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Sale of TV rights to hurt Premier League

14 February 2018

Sky and BT paid a total of GBP 5.14 billion for the previous three years, and while two packages remain in the latest tender, these 40 matches are unlikely to set a new record in the cost of the football rights.

The news that Sky and BT have taken the lion's share of the rights comes after prolonged rumours that Silicon Valley giants may have entered the fray in this round of auctions, with Amazon in particular the object of reports that it had been consulting industry experts about bidding for the three-year rights package running from the 2019/2020 to 2021/2022 seasons.

With no single bidder able to buy more than 148 of the 200 games a season, Sky can only bid for one of the two remaining 20-game packages.

He added: "The Premier League still has its overseas rights to sell and the uplift in those will more than cover any shortfall in the domestic rights I expect".

Anyway, those six packages sold for an astounding sum - just over £5.1 billion, which was 71% more than the total of the TV deal that preceded it. Also paying more per game.

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Sky Sports were awarded four of the seven available packages, while BT Sport have won one package.

BT Sport - who are believed to have been outbid by Sky on each package - have received one as it is against auction regulations to claim five of the main packs.

Meanwhile, BT will show the Saturday lunchtime matches in the new deal.

The new TV deal sees Sky and BT swap their slots on Saturday, with Sky also landing the new batch of Saturday night games.

In a statement, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "We are extremely pleased that BT and Sky continue to view the Premier League and our clubs as such an important part of their offering".

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The sudden ferocity of competition between Sky and BT Sport which boosted the Premier League clubs' coffers for the 2016-19 cycle has calmed a little after the two companies signed a deal in December which enables each to offer the other's channels on their platform.

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.

A spokesperson for BT said the company "remained financially disciplined during this process and remains in a strong position to make a return on this investment 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.

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Sale of TV rights to hurt Premier League