Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

BT, Sky pay less to maintain stranglehold on English football

BT, Sky pay less to maintain stranglehold on English football

England's top flight announced mixed results for its latest auction of domestic live rights on Tuesday, with BT and Sky sharing 160 games a season from 2019-20 but for less money than they paid for the current three-year deal.

Whilst the one package BT Sport have been successful with, sees them show 32 games live each season.

BT Sport have won the rights to one package which will comprise of 32 games which are the fixtures which take place at 12.30 on Saturdays.

"To have achieved this investment with two packages remaining to sell is testament to the excellent football competition delivered by the clubs", Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said in a statement.

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The two remaining rights packages are for: all 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one mid-week fixture programme; and all 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes.

Houlihan noted the current rights are worth £1billion more a season than they were five years ago, the Premier League's numbers were better than their European rivals and the league still had 40 games a season to sell.

Premier League soccer has always been key to attract and retain TV and broadband subscribers and the cost of the United Kingdom rights has surged 30-fold over the past 25 years. That equates to savings of nearly 600 million pounds for the European pay TV giant while showing an additional two games a year from the league it helped to grow from its inception in 1992.

Sky, which saw its operating profit slide 14 percent in Britain in the year to end-June after it paid its Premier League bill, said its disciplined approach had paid off. Its four packs of rights total 128 games a season, up from 126 matches now.

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Sky, meanwhile, will air 128 live games per season, including 32 matches on a Saturday at 5:30pm, marking a first for the broadcaster.

"The outcome so far of the auction will be relief for the..."

There has been speculation that online giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter or Netflix could have entered the bidding process. Last time BT won 42 games for £960m, so it will pay £25m less per season but its cost per game has risen 21% to £9.2m.

I don't think this means things are going to collapse, or that all of a sudden transfer fees will crater; it's more like this contract is more reflective of reality, if that's even a thing in elite-level sports finance, than the last one, and I would think that future deals would increase in this slower, more incremental fashion rather than at a 70% rate every three seasons. "It is already challenging to sign up to both BT Sports and Sky Sports, but had an online giant got involved that would have meant another billing relationship and destination".

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Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's United Kingdom chief exec, said: "We continue to invest in content that our customers value and which complements our strategy to broaden our offer".

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