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BT, Sky pay less to maintain stranglehold on English football

14 February, 2018, 19:50 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • No Amazon bid as Sky & BT renew Premier League rights

The rights to show English Premier League matches domestically were sold on Tuesday for £4.46 billion (US$6.43 billion), with two live packages still to be sold.

So far Sky has committed £3.579bn to take the dominant share of 128 games, two more than in its current deal, while BT has acquired 32 per season at a cost of £885m.

BT Sport will continue to show games at 5.30pm on Saturdays next season and then move to Saturday lunchtime fixtures from August 2019.

But BT Sport won out and will televise 32 games for the season.

The Premier League said the two remaining live packages have interest from multiple bidders. It contains Bank Holiday and three midweek fixtures.

It also suggests that the domestic market for live TV rights has topped out, particularly as the two main players now appear to have called a truce in their battle for customers.

With 40 more games a season still to be sold, the cost-per-game price is £9.3m, down from the current £10.2m.

Sky said it was spending 16 percent less per game than under its present three-year deal.

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

The Premier League trophy on display before the FA Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool the 227th Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park

If the tech firms do jump in, there might be an opportunity for United Kingdom fans to watch at least some live games without paying BT or Sky.

Elliott, the US hedge fund best-known for its activist campaigns at companies, including forcing bidders to pay more during takeovers, has also been stakebuilding in Sky recently and lifted its interest to 1.99 percent last week.

Sky boasted that it "remains the home of Premier League football".

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. It has been marketing BT Sports to its EE customers.

What was the outcome of the Premier League auction?

In a statement, Amos said: "Despite months of speculation on whether companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon would muscle their way in and win a number of packages, the internet giants remain in their infancy when it comes to penetrating the broad ecosystem that sports fans exist within".

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

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".



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