Sky secure Premier League rights with £3.6billion package

After years of extraordinary revenue growth, the Premier League has sold its latest package of live TV games to Sky and BT Sport for a reduced per-match rate.

Updating stakeholders, Premier League governance details that it has sold two live broadcast packages to Sky Sports and BT Sport for a total sum of £4.46 billion.

Sky have paid £3.579billion for their rights, with BT forking out £885million.

There is still the possibility of a digital platform winning some matches, however, as two packages totalling 40 games remain unsold and the Premier League said "multiple bidders" have expressed an interest in acquiring them.

In terms of how much money the league has brought in for its clubs, the five packages to have gone cost £4.464billion - which is just under £700million short of the total achieved in 2015, when 168 games were up for grabs.

What is not known is whether the Australian rights which are now held by Optus, will return to Foxtel.

It said it will show "Saturday tea time matches, Super Sunday, Monday Night Football and Friday Night Football".

Significantly, Sky are paying 16% less per game under the 2019-2022 deal, which equates to around £9.3 million per game - less than the £11.05 million-per-game value of the current cycle. In the previous round, Sky faced an over 80 percent increase in price after BT entered the market with its own sports TV plans.

BT Sport, meanwhile, will have 32 games, all kicking off at 12.30pm on a Saturday.

The telecoms giant said it had remained "financially disciplined" during the process and is "in a strong position to make a return on this investment through subscription, wholesale, commercial and advertising revenues" especially following the acquisition of EE, which more than doubled BT's customer base.

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". That means the broadcaster, while paying more, has actually lost 10 games and will only screen games now at Saturday lunchtime, a less attractive scenario than the more popular 5.30pm slot.

With Comcast sidelined in December by the Disney-Fox deal but now showing renewed interest, the result could "sharpen the deal pencil" of the largest US cable company and the Roberts family, its founders, he said.

The present deal, which began in 2015 and runs to 2019, was worth GBP5.14 billion.


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