Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Sky, BT retain principal Premier League football rights for £4.5BN

Sky, BT retain principal Premier League football rights for £4.5BN

The current contract (2016-2019) sees 168 matches per season shown live on BT Sport and Sky Sports and those United Kingdom rights were sold for a total of £5.14bn over the three years, which worked out at £10.2m per game.

Under the new TV deal, Sky have bought four of the available match packages - B, C, D, and E. BT Sport have acquired package A.

But while Sky's price per game drops from 11 million pounds to 9.3 million pounds, BT had to agree to pay 9.2 million pounds - up from 7.6 million pounds - for one package of 32 games. The packages cover one round of Bank Holiday fixture packaged with one mid-week round, and two further mid-week rounds packaged together.

BT has invested £895 million on 96 matches over three seasons, while Sky has stumped up £3.58 billion for 384 matches.

City analysts had estimated Sky will have to pay about £600m a year more.

Sky said it paid £1.19bn per season, "a 16 per cent cost reduction per game versus the current agreement". Its four packs of rights total 128 games a season, up from 126 matches now. It also claims to have secured the best slots including Saturday tea time matches, Super Sunday, Monday Night Football and Friday Night Football and for the first time, Saturday evening matches.

Sky paid more last time to preserve its dominant payTV position in the United Kingdom against the serious competition of BT, which was bidding to establish its own subscription television service, to also support its commercial broadband ambitions.

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The companies commented that they had taken a "disciplined approach".

He said in theory the outcome would lead to a 500 million pound boost to the consensus for 1.7 billion pounds earnings in the 2020 financial year.

There has been speculation that online giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter or Netflix could have entered the bidding process. It has been marketing BT Sports to its EE customers.

Commenting on the reduced £3.579bn the company is paying for its four prime packages, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's United Kingdom chief executive, said they had taken a "disciplined approach".

The Premier League, however, said it was "extremely pleased" that BT and Sky continued to view its matches as an important part of their offering.

He added: "It remains possible that a non-traditional media company will acquire an exclusive domestic live rights package to one of the "big 5" European football leagues".

Deloitte Sports Business Group director Austin Houlihan gave an upbeat assessment in a statement which said the deals "reconfirm the Premier League's position as the world's most popular league in the world's most popular sport".

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